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Merger of Hydro One and Avista Corp. approved by FERC

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the U.S. has approved the merger application filed by Hydro One Limited in Canada and Avista Corporation in the U.S.

The application was filed Sept. 14, 2017.

In its order, FERC noted Hydro One’s commitment to insulate Avista’s transmission customers from costs associated with the transaction.

“We’re pleased with FERC’s decision,” said Scott Morris, chairman and chief executive officer of Avista. “Together, Hydro One and Avista would like to reaffirm our commitments to our customers, employees and communities that will provide benefits well into the future.”

Applications for regulatory approval of the transaction are still pending with utility commissions in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska. The merger also must receive clearance by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and comply with applicable requirements under the U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

Avista says filings with these agencies will be made in the coming months.

“As we continue on the journey to obtain the other necessary regulatory approvals, we are confident that bringing together our two companies will deliver long-term value,” said Mayo Schmidt, president and CEO of Hydro One.

As previously reported on HydroWorld.com, the announcement of the merger agreement was made in July 2017. Hydro One proposed to acquire Avista in a C$6.7 billion (US$5.3 billion) all-cash transaction.

Avista owns a total of 13 hydroelectric plants with a total capacity of 1,123.3 MW.

It is not clear how a decision in Alaska to deny Hydro One’s bid to take over Alaska Electric Light & Power (owned by Avista) will affect the merger.

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