Canadian-based renewable energy and regulated utility Algonquin Power & Utilities (APUC) has agreed to acquire Empire District Electric Company in Missouri for approximately $2.4bn.
APUC’s wholly-owned regulated utility business Liberty Utilities has entered into an agreement and plan of merger to indirectly acquire Empire and its subsidiaries.
Under the deal, the shareholders of Empire will secure $34.00 per common share, representing a 21% premium to its closing price on 8 February.
APUC CEO Ian Robertson said: "The acquisition of Empire represents a continuation of our disciplined growth strategy, which strengthens and diversifies Algonquin’s existing businesses and strategically expands our regulated utility footprint in the mid-west US."
Based in Joplin of Missouri, Empire is a regulated electric, gas and water utility, which provides services to around 218,000 customers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
In addition, a subsidiary of Empire offers fibre optic services.
The deal allows Liberty Utilities to enter into two new markets such as Oklahoma and Kansas, in addition to expanding electric, gas, and water utility operations.
Empire president and CEO Brad Beecher said: "Over the years, Empire has focused its energies on its core values of providing safe, reliable and economical service to its customers, a fair return to its shareholders, and a safe and positive work experience for its employees."
Subject to customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2017.
Algonquin offers rate regulated water, electricity and natural gas utility services to around 560,000 customers in the US.