Great Plains Energy, Westar Energy ask Kansas to reconsider their merger

Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy filed a Petition for Reconsideration with the Kansas Corporation Commission regarding its April 19, 2017, Order denying approval of Great Plains Energy’s acquisition of Westar.

The petition requests additional time until May 31, 2017, to allow further discussions between Great Plains Energy and Westar to determine if a mutually agreeable revised transaction might be negotiated that resolves the concerns identified by the Commission, while preserving meaningful benefits for customers and shareholders.

If the companies are able to reach and announce an agreement, they will immediately engage with the other parties to the proceeding to address their concerns and set a new procedural schedule that allows all parties and the commission adequate time to review the matter.

“We continue to firmly believe that combining Great Plains Energy and Westar creates significant value for customers, employees and communities in Kansas and Missouri as well as for our shareholders. Since announcing this transaction, we have completed integration planning, and this work has only reinforced our belief in the value of this combination,” said Terry Bassham, chairman and chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy. “By joining our companies, we together can establish a leading Midwest energy company that creates benefits for all stakeholders that neither company could achieve on its own.”

“A combination of these two companies and the efficiencies it would create helps address the headwinds of rising costs for our customers,” said Mark Ruelle, president and chief executive officer of Westar. “We are hopeful we can reach a revised agreement that paves the way for the completion of our transaction and the realization of its many customer benefits.”

Bassham said, “We have heard the Commission regarding the structure of the transaction, including its concerns related to purchase price, capital structure, quantifiable and demonstrable customer benefits, and staffing levels in Westar’s service territory. Given the unique benefits resulting from our combination, we believe it is appropriate to explore whether there is room to work with Westar and directly address these areas, while maintaining the shareholder value creation opportunity inherent in this merger. In any case, we would only pursue a revised agreement if we determined that it delivered more value than Great Plains was able to achieve on a stand-alone basis.”

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