Published On: Sun, Jan 27th, 2019

Hydro One Avista merger scrapped after failing to get regulatory approvals

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Hydro One Avista merger : Ontario’s power utility Hydro One has canceled its previously announced $5.3 billion acquisition of American energy company Avista after failing to get the necessary regulatory approvals.

Hydro One and Avista have taken the mutual decision to scrap their merger agreement after the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and the Idaho Public Utilities Commission refused to give their respective approvals.

The Hydro One Avista merger was proposed in July 2017 with the two utilities aiming to create a bigger electricity and natural gas provider in North America, with more than $25.4 billion in combined assets.

The proposed combination was to result in a much larger utility that would cater to two million retail and industrial customers with assets all around Ontario, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.

However, the Hydro One Avista merger was discarded after the two utilities concluded that the feasibility of getting a timely reversal of the orders from the Washington and Idaho regulators was bleak. The boards of directors of both the utilities decided that it was in their best interests to terminate the proposed merger.

Hydro One Avista merger scrapped after failing to get regulatory approvals

Hydro One Avista merger scrapped after failing to get regulatory approvals. Photo courtesy of Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine / Wikipedia.org.

Commenting on the cancellation of the Hydro One Avista merger, Paul Dobson – acting President and CEO of Hydro One said: “Hydro One’s Board, management and employees remain focused on delivering safe and reliable power, providing exceptional customer service and driving shareholder value. On behalf of Hydro One, I would like to thank the teams who have worked tirelessly on the proposed merger throughout this process.”

As per previously agreed terms, Hydro One will pay a termination fee of $103 million to Avista.

Scott L. Morris – Chairman of the Board and CEO of Avista, commenting on the cancellation of the Hydro One Avista merger, said: “While disappointed with the outcome, I want to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who worked with us on this effort over the past 18 months.

“Avista is a strong, vibrant, and independent utility, and we look forward to building on our legacy of nearly 130 years by continuing to serve the best interests of our most important stakeholders—our valued customers, loyal employees, the communities we serve, and our shareholders.”

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