Westar and Great Plains Energy approve merger

(KSNT Photo/James Ryan)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy, the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light have announced that shareholders have approved the proposals necessary for the merger between the two companies.

The announcement came Tuesday morning at a special shareholder meeting.

More than 90 percent of the shares voted at each company approved the transaction.

“This new combined company will ensure we keep ownership of our utility assets in our region to grow local economies,” said Terry Bassham, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy and KCP&L.

Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy announced a revised transaction in July 2017 after the Kansas Corporation Commission denied the companies’ original request to combine in April. This revised agreement involves no transaction debt, no exchange of cash, and is a stock-for-stock merger of equals, creating a company with a combined equity value of approximately $15 billion.

The deal still needs to be approved by federal regulators, as well as utility commissions in both Kansas and Missouri. Westar spokeswoman Gina Penzig said they anticipate the merger to be finalized in the first half of 2018.

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