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Fortis wins key approval to buy U.S. electric grid based in Michigan

Fortis says it has received a key U.S. federal regulatory approval for its $11.3-billion (U.S.) plan to purchase ITC Holdings Corp.

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Fortis Inc. has received a key U.S. federal regulatory approval for its $11.3-billion (U.S.) plan to purchase ITC Holdings Corp., which has one of the largest independent electricity distribution systems in the United States.

The Newfoundland-based company says the authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Friday puts the deal on track to close by the end of this year as anticipated.

Fortis initially announced in February that it would pay a combination of stock and cash to buy ITC, based in Novi, Mich., and its high voltage electricity transmission system in several U.S. states.

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It later announced the sale of a 19.9 per cent equity stake in ITC to Singapore's sovereign wealth fund for US$1.228-billion in cash, to help pay for the transaction.

Fortis has received most of the required regulatory approvals, but the deal is still subject to authorization from the state of Kansas.

Based in St. John's, N.L., Fortis is the owner of Newfoundland Power as well as numerous other electricity and natural gas utilities throughout Canada, the United States and the Caribbean region.

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