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NextEra ends $4.3B pursuit of Hawaiian Electric

hasterminated its bid to acquire Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. for $4.3 billion,according to a July 18 news release.

"As a result of the [Hawaii Public UtilitiesCommission]'s order, we have terminated our merger agreement," NextEraEnergy Chairman and CEO Jim Robo said in a statement that refers to theJuly 15 vote by thestate regulator.

In the order, the PUC said NextEra and Hawaiian Electricfailed to show that deal was in the public interest, describing proposedratepayer benefits as inadequate, adding that the companies did not offer"sufficient protection" to the HECO companies, which compriseHawaiian Electric Co.Inc., Hawaii ElectricLight Co. Inc. and Maui Electric Co. Ltd., or their customers.

The PUC also cited among its concerns the companies' cleanenergy commitments, the merger's effect on local governance and the deal'seffect on competition to local energy markets. The state of Hawaii has a100%-by-2045 renewable energy goal.

NextEra Energy will pay Hawaiian Electric a $90 millionbreak-up fee and reimburse up to $5 million for expenses related to thetransaction. The funds, which will total $60 million after taxes, will helpfund Hawaii's clean energy goals, including the 2016 plan to investapproximately $145 million into Hawaiian Electric.

Hawaiian Electric shareholders were due to receive 50 centsper share had the merger closed. However, the special dividend will no longerbe issued. Hawaiian Electric will also no longer spin off its banking andfinancial services arm under the American Savings Bank FSB, a for the merger to close.

The company, which will now operate as a stand-alone, istargeting 2016 EPS of $1.62 to $1.75.

Elsewhere, NextEra is reportedly among the bidders that are competing toacquire transmission and distribution utility .