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Berkshire Hathaway's $3.2-billion AltaLink deal clears Industry Canada hurdle

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OTTAWA - Berkshire Hathaway's plan to buy SNC-Lavalin's share of the AltaLink power utility has received Industry Canada's approval, subject to several conditions.

Among other things, Berkshire Hathaway Energy has agreed the maintain employment levels and AltaLink will be locally managed, with its headquarters, executives and operations in Alberta.

Industry Canada says 100 per cent of AltaLink's earnings will be invested in the company, or elsewhere in Canada, for at least five years.

The deal also requires approval from the Alberta Utilities Commission.

AltaLink owns more than half of Alberta's transmission grid — about 12,000 kilometres of transmission lines, as well as 280 substations, delivering electricity to about 85 per cent of the province's population.

Berkshire Hathaway to invest at least $27 million over five years in joint development opportunities in Canada and the United States and it will provide $3 million over three years to support academic programs and a further $3 million over three years to communities and charities across Alberta.

The $3.2-billion transaction between Berkshire Hathaway and SNC Lavalin was announced on May 1. They said at the time that the deal was expected to close by Dec. 31.

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