By Jamie Barrie T his is really a proud moment for Canadians as we grow our business to become a North American leader,” said Hydro One CEO, Mayo Schmidt during a press conference, adding Hydro

Schmidt going on to say that, “Together we can and will create a stronger, more innovative, more customer focused energy leader.” Avista would keep its existing corporate headquarters in Spokane and continue to operate as a stand-alone utility in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. “As we consider our strategy going forward and the trans- formational changes happening in our industry, it was of the utmost importance for us to control our own destiny,” said Scott Morris, Avista chairman and CEO. The partnership largely allows Avista to preserve how it does business with its customers, enables it to continue to pursue technological innovation, and permits it to take advantage of operating efficiencies and shared best practices, he said.

One will be a more valuable company because of the trans- action.

“This merger agreement allows for more robust expansion into new lines of business and into new jurisdictions, includ- ing the Pacific Northwest, which is experiencing customer growth,” he said. These words coming after Hydro One Ltd. (TSX:H) has signed a friendly deal unanimously approved by the boards of both com- panies to acquire U.S. energy company Avista Corp. for C$6.7 billion in an all-cash deal that would create one of the largest regulated utilities in North America. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018, subject to Avista shareholder and certain regulatory and government approvals. Both companies confirmed that there will be no job losses as a result of the merger and customer rates will not be affected by any of the costs associated with the transaction.

The company is excited to partner with Hydro One and is well-positioned for the future, said Morris.

Hydro One has more than 1.3 million customers, $25 billion in assets and employs 5,500 people. Avista provides electric and natural gas services to 721,000 customers.



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