Avista sale needs approval from stockholders and regulators

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The sale of Spokane-based Avista Corp. to a Canadian energy company must still win approval from shareholders and regulators.

Hydro One, based in Toronto, Canada, announced Wednesday that it would pay $5.3 billion cash to buy Avista, which supplies electricity and natural gas to customers in five Northwestern states.

The deal, expected to close next year, is subject to approval from shareholders and regulators in the various states Avista operates in, as well as the federal government.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission says the utilities have not yet filed for approval, but they will need to prove a net benefit for customers.

Few changes are expected in Avista operations.

The sale price amounts to $53 per Avista share, a 24 percent premium over the company's closing stock price Tuesday.

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