Idaho commission denies sale of Avista to Canadian company

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Avista Corp.’s proposed sale to Hydro One Ltd. of Toronto has been denied by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.

The Spokesman-Review says Thursday’s action follows similar action last month by Washington regulators, who also denied the sale of the Spokane-based utility.

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission said the sale is prohibited by state law, which prevents the transfer of assets from a regulated electric utility to an entity that is “owned or controlled” by any other state.

The commission pointed to the province of Ontario’s ownership and influence on Hydro One.

Although Hydro One is an investor-owned utility, the province is its largest shareholder with 47 percent of outstanding shares, giving it significant control.

Avista and Hydro One have until Jan. 24 to ask the commission to reconsider the decision.