Kansas Corporation Commission will consider new merger application if filed

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – In an announcement Tuesday morning, the KCC says it will not reconsider power company merger between Westar & KCP&L.

But they will consider a new application. In late April, the KCC denied the merger saying that it was not in the best interest of the public, too expensive, and not financially responsible.

If the merger was approved, the new company would serve one and a half million people. Stockholders for both Missouri-based Great Plains Energy and Topeka-based Westar Energy overwhelmingly approved the deal in September saying it would lead to lower electric rates.

Commission staff, consumer advocates and others opposed the deal saying it would cause closed plants and job losses.

After the hearing, Westar Energy Media Relations Manger Gina Penzig said, “While we were disappointed that the KCC didn’t grant our request for reconsideration, we are encouraged that they said they would welcome a new application. Westar continues to discuss potential changes to the merger agreement with Great Plains to determine if a new agreement can be reached that addresses the concerns of the KCC while still adding value for our customers, investors, employees and communities.”

Katie McDonald with KCPL added, “We appreciate the Commission is welcoming of a new application and we are pleased they recognize the outpouring of community support for the work our companies do.  We continue to work with Westar in a timely manner to explore the possibility of a revised deal that is materially better than our standalone plan for both shareholders and customers. If a new agreement to combine is reached, the companies would file a new application under a new docket. While the companies have made progress, it will take more time to evaluate whether a new deal is possible.”

 

 

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