Westar Energy to consider divesting interest in Protection One



TOPEKA, Kan., Jan. 20, 2003 — Westar Energy Inc. announced recently that its board of directors has authorized management to explore strategic alternatives for divesting its investment in Protection One, Inc. with a view to maximizing the value received by Westar Energy.

Westar Energy expects to work closely with Protection One, Inc. management to identify alternatives that are in the best interest of all of Protection One, Inc.’s shareholders.

Westar Energy Inc. is a consumer services company with interests in monitored services and energy. The company has total assets of approximately $7 billion, including security company holdings through ownership of Protection One, Inc. (NYSE: POI – News) and Protection One Europe, which have approximately 1.2 million security customers.

Westar Energy is the largest electric utility in Kansas providing service to about 647,000 customers in the state. Westar Energy has nearly 6,000 megawatts of electric generation capacity and operates and coordinates more than 34,700 miles of electric distribution and transmission lines.

Through its ownership in ONEOK, Inc., a Tulsa, Okla.- based natural gas company, Westar Energy has a 44.7 percent interest in one of the largest natural gas distribution companies in the nation, serving more than 1.4 million customers.

For more information about Westar Energy, visit http://www.wr.com.


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