HYDRO ONE AND AVISTA TO TRY AGAIN TO GET DEAL APPROVED BY WASHINGTON STATE

Dec 10, 2018

By Michael Kramer

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Hydro One and Avista say they plan to formally request that the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission reconsider its order last week – denying approval of the $6.7-billion takeover of the American-based energy utility.

The two companies say they’ll file a petition no later than December 17th – but haven’t indicated on what grounds they are making the request.

Washington State law says the UTC has 20 days to consider the petition – otherwise it will be considered denied.

If reconsidered, the UTC can modify the earlier order – or take any actions it deems appropriate – including extending deliberations.

Washington State regulators had said they wouldn’t allow Ontario’s largest utility to buy Avista – for fear Ontario’s Conservative government, which owns 47 per cent of Hydro One’s shares – might meddle in Avista’s operations.

Hydro One’s shares have risen since the order.

Analysts say the deal, announced in July 2017 – would have eroded earnings per share – and weakened Hydro One’s balance sheet.

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