Canadian utility company Hydro One Ltd. announced an agreement Wednesday to buy Avista Corp. , a similar company that operates in the Northwestern U.S., in a deal valued at $5.3 billion. The deal, which offers $53 a share for Avista, would "create one of North America's largest regulated utilities," Hydro One said in its announcement. "This marks a proud moment for Canadian champions as we grow our business into a North American leader," Hydro One Chief Executive Mayo Schmidt said in a statement. Avista will maintain its corporate headquarters in Spokane, Washington, and continue to operate as a standalone entity in its home state as well as Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, the companies said, while the combined company's headquarters will be in Toronto. The deal, which would pay a premium of 24% on Avista's Tuesday closing price, is expected to close in the second half of 2018. Avista shares shot more than 17% higher after the deal was announced, hitting $51.
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