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Avista to branch into Alaska market

Spokane’s Avista Corp. will branch into Alaska with the purchase of a regulated power company in Juneau.

Avista said in a news release after the close of the stock market Monday that it plans to acquire Alaska Energy and Resources Co., a regulated utility in Juneau, for $170 million in Avista stock.

Alaska Energy will become a subsidiary of Avista, the news release said.

If regulators approve of the deal, it’s expected to close by July 1.

Said Avista in the release, “We expect that the addition of AERC to Avista Corp. will be slightly negative to earnings in 2014, and that it will contribute positively to earnings in 2015.”

Alaska Energy operates Alaska Electric Light and Power Co., the oldest regulated utility in Alaska.

The utility had revenue of $42 million last year, and serves nearly 16,000 customers.

This story is developing and will be updated.