The Montana Public Service Commission has issued its final order approving the proposed $5.3bn merger between Ontario-based electricity distributor Hydro One and US energy utility Avista.

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

The Commission voted to approve the proposed merger, with conditions on June 12, 2018. With this order, the merger has received all approvals in Montana.

Hydro One president and CEO Mayo Schmidt said: “We are very pleased to have received regulatory approval from the Montana Public Service Commission.

“With regulatory approvals complete in Alaska and now Montana, we are well on our way to combining our two companies. With regulatory approvals still required in Oregon, Idaho and Washington, we anticipate completing the transaction later this year.”

Avista chairman and CEO Scott L. Morris said: “We thank the Commission for its review and approval of our merger with Hydro One, which is a significant milestone in this process.

“This Commission’s decision affirms the commitments we’ve made and brings us one step closer to realizing the benefits of the transaction for our customers, communities, employees and shareholders.”

Applications for regulatory approval of the transaction are still pending with utility commissions in Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

An all-parties, all-issues settlement agreement was filed with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on March 27, 2018.

An all-parties, all-issues settlement agreement was filed with the Oregon Public Utility Commission on May 25, 2018. A multiple party settlement agreement was filed with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission on April 13, 2018, with a hearing set for July 23, 2018.

Hydro One and Avista received approval with conditions from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska on June 4, 2018, concluding the merger proceeding in Alaska.

Hydro One and Avista received the Federal Communications Commission’s consent on May 4, 2018 to close their merger and antitrust clearance on April 5, 2018 after the expiration of the waiting period under the U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended.

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

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States completed its review of the proposed merger on May 18, 2018, and has concluded that there are no unresolved national security concerns with respect to the transaction. Also required is the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Source: Company Press Release