Hydro One and Avista Reach Settlement in Principle in Washington Merger Case

Hydro One Limited and Avista Corporation  today announced they have filed a Notification of a settlement with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC), with a settlement agreement between all parties involved to be filed no later than March 27, 2018.

The settlement in principle is subject to the review and approval of the WUTC and includes provisions related to financial protections for the utility and its customers, low income customers, conservation and the environment. It also incorporates the use of a portion of Avista’s deferred federal income taxes for the purpose of accelerating the depreciation schedule for Colstrip Units 3 and 4 to reflect a remaining useful life of those units through Dec. 31, 2027.

“This agreement in principle marks an important step towards bringing together two historic companies positioned to deliver long-term value for customers, employees, communities and shareholders,” said Mayo Schmidt, President and CEO, Hydro One. “As we move forward to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals, we continue to actively engage the parties involved to the benefit of all groups.”

In addition to Hydro One and Avista, the parties to the merger proceeding include the Staff of the WUTC, the Public Counsel Unit of the Washington Office of Attorney General, the Northwest Industrial Gas Users, the Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities, The Energy Project, Northwest Energy Coalition, Renewable Northwest, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and the Washington and Northern Idaho District Council of Laborers.

The transaction received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Jan. 16, 2018 and from Avista shareholders on Nov. 21, 2017.

Applications for regulatory approval are still pending with utility commissions in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska. Approval must be obtained from the Federal Communications Commission, along with clearance by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The transaction is also subject to 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 transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2018.


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