US FERC approves Hydro One’s $5.3bn merger deal with Avista

EBR Staff Writer Published 18 January 2018

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved Ontario-based electricity distributor Hydro One’s proposed $5.3bn merger deal with US-based energy company Avista.

In July 2017, Hydro One agreed to merge with Avista, to form one of the major companies in regulated electricity and natural gas business in North American, with more than $25.4bn in combined assets.

The two firms had filed applications with the US regulators in September 2017, seeking regulatory approval for their merger.

While filing the applications, Hydro One and Avista had requested the concerned authorities to approve the transaction by mid August 2018.

Commenting on the FERC approval, Avista chairman and CEO Scott Morris said that the decision signifies an important step in the process to complete the deal.

Hydro One president and CEO Mayo Schmidt said: “This marks another important milestone in bringing together Hydro One and Avista.

“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.”

The deal is due to secure approvals from utility commissions in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska as well as from the Federal Communications Commission.

Hydro One said in a statement: “Also required is clearance by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and compliance with applicable requirements under the U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, as well as the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.”

The firms are expecting the transaction to be completed by mid-2018.

Upon completion of transaction, the combined company is expected to serve two million retail and industrial customers, holding assets throughout North America including Ontario, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

The merged entity’s headquarters will be based in Toronto while Avista will retain its existing corporate headquarters in Spokane.

Image: Hydro One head office in Toronto, Canada. Photo: courtesy of Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine/Wikipedia.

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