Westar, Great Plains Energy shareholders OK merger

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Shareholders of Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy, the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light, overwhelmingly approved the proposals necessary for the merger between the two companies.

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

“We are excited about today’s approval from shareholders of both Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy. This vote indicates that both companies’ shareholders believe in our combined ability to create a stronger regional energy provider, positioned to better serve all of our customers,” said Terry Bassham, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy and KCP&L. “This new combined company will ensure we keep ownership of our utility assets in our region to grow local economies.”

“Customers and shareholders will benefit by combining Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy into a strong Midwest utility,” said Mark Ruelle, president and chief executive officer of Westar Energy. “Our geography and history of partnership position us to bring efficiencies and savings by joining our operations. We continue to make progress toward completing the transaction in the first half of 2018.”

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 merger is expected to help maintain reliable, low cost energy for the company’s 1 million Kansas customers and nearly 600,000 customers in Missouri. Additionally, with one of the largest renewable energy portfolios in the nation, the new combined company will be a clean energy leader, supplying nearly half of its retail sales from emissions-free electricity.

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