Algonquin Power & Utilities Corporation said Liberty Utilities, the company’s regulated distribution utility, has received regulatory approvals to close the acquisition of the regulated natural gas distribution utility assets in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri, US.

The acquisition worth $124m, which was announced in May 2011, will close by 1 August 2012.

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corporation chief executive officer Ian Robertson said the acquisition is another step towards the company’s goal of expanding its presence in the North American regulated utilities market.

"Missouri and Illinois are States with which we are familiar, through our existing utility businesses, and this transaction provides an opportunity for Liberty Utilities to expand the delivery of high quality, local and responsive service while creating synergies with its existing utilities," said Robertson.

APUC will fund the transaction partly from the sale of subscription receipts for proceeds of $45m previously committed by Emera and from a $225m private placement debt financing announced by Liberty Utilities on 30 May 2012.

The regulated natural gas distribution utilities provide natural gas service to about 84,000 customers, with 57,000 in Missouri, 23,000 in Illinois and 4,000 customers in Iowa.