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FERC clears Algonquin Power's acquisition of Empire District

Algonquin Power& Utilities Corp. is moving closer to acquiring after winningFERC's blessing on May 6. (EC16-88)

Under the deal, Algonquin Power subsidiary Liberty Utilities(Central) Co. will acquire Empire District in an all-cash transaction for $2.4 billion,including the assumption of $900 million in debt.

Joplin, Mo.-based Empire District owns electric generating facilities,totaling 1,019 MW, in Missouri and Kansas, which are within the The utility alsoowns a stake in a natural gas facility in Mississippi that is within the

If the deal pushes through, Algonquin's business mix will with regulated businessescontributing 72% of earnings, up from the current 52%. The deal is expected to beimmediately accretive to earnings, increasing Algonquin's EPS 7% to 9% annuallyfor the first three years after closing.

The deal still needs the approval of shareholders, the FTC, andstate regulators in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma to close in the firstquarter of 2017. On April 29, Empire District said the administrative law judgepresiding over the merger hearings in Oklahoma has recommended approval of the deal.