- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 29, 2014

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - The city of Missoula is offering a global hedge fund $50 million for the assets of Mountain Water Co., which serves city residents.

Mayor John Engen has given the Carlyle Group until Tuesday to respond to the offer. If the company doesn’t respond, Engen says the city would begin condemnation proceedings. Under that action, the city argues in District Court that it should be allowed to take the private property for public use and the judge would set a fair price.

A Carlyle Group spokesman tells KECI-TV that it will respond to the offer by the mayor’s deadline.

Engen says the time seems right because Carlyle is moving away from the purchase of public utilities to investing in energy.

The mayor notes Missoula is the only major city in Montana that does not own its water system.

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