Late last month, the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) and Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) approved the $15 billion stock-for-stock merger of Missouri-based Westar Energy and Kansas-based Great Plains Energy, parent company of Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L). As a condition of the merger, these two companies will operate under a new holding company that will be named Evergy, Inc. The approvals of the KCC and MPSC were the two final hurdles to the deal as FERC approved the merger earlier this year and the shareholders of each company voted in favor of the combination in November 2017.
These approvals conclude a multi-year effort to combine these neighboring utilities. In 2017, the KCC unanimously rejected a proposed $12.2 billion acquisition of Westar Energy by Great Plains Energy. The primary reasons provided for this rejection included the potential financial risks to rate payers for the estimated $4.9 billion premium Great Plains Energy was willing to pay for the acquisition, the lack of an independent board of directors for Westar, and a perceived lack of safeguards to project Westar customers.
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Additional Contributing Author: Rizwan Aslam
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