BUZZ-Empire District Electric: Hits record high on takeover by Algonquin
** U.S. power producer's shares up 15.4 pct at $32.50 after hitting record high of $32.60
** Stock among top percentage gainer on NYSE
** Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp to buy Empire District Electric in C$3.4 bln ($2.4 bln) deal
** Algonquin offers $34 per share in cash, a near 21 pct premium to Empire District's Tuesday close
** More than 1.6 mln shares traded as of 10:05 a.m. ET, nearly 4x stock's 25-day moving average
** Up to Tuesday's close, stock had risen 6.6 pct in past 12 months
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