Washington State denies Avista sale

    Spokane, Washington (KINY) The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission said the proposed merger with Toronto-based Hydro One Ltd. doesn't adequately protect Avista or the utility's customers from political or financial risk, and that isn't in the public's interest.

    It is not known how the decision will affect the proposed $5.3 billion dollar deal already approved by Alaska regulators.

    Avista is the parent company of Alaska Electric Light & Power that provides power to Juneau. 

    In a statement, the Washington regulators said they were concerned about political influence from the Ontario government on operations.  "In the final analysis, the Commission determines that the evidence demonstrates that Hydro One lacks sufficient independence from its former owner and now largest shareholder, the Province of Ontario, to be reasonable and appropriate merger partner for Avista."

    While Alaska and Montana regulators approved the deal, approvals are still pending before Idaho and Oregon regulators.

    Hydro One and Avista, in a joint statement, said they disappointed in the decision and are reviewing the order to determine what they do next.


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