Berkshire Hathaway Energy's application to buy SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.'s AltaLink power transmission unit has received preliminary approval, Canadian Industry Minister James Moore said, noting the deal still needs approval from the Alberta Utilities Commission.

The 3.2 billion-Canadian-dollar ($2.92 billion) deal was announced in May, part of the Montreal-based construction giant's increased focused on its engineering and construction operations.

AltaLink, Alberta's largest regulated electricity transmission company, is to operate as a separate unit of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

As part of the approval, Berkshire Hathaway Energy has agreed not to cut jobs and that AltaLink will remain locally managed with headquarters, senior management and operations remaining in Alberta. The company's board of directors will also continue to include mostly Canadian members.

Among other conditions, Berkshire Hathaway Energy agreed to invest AltaLink's profit for five years back into the company or elsewhere in Canada.

--Judy McKinnon contributed to this article.

Write to Maria Armental at

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July 25, 2014 18:05 ET (22:05 GMT)

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