Kansas regulators won’t reconsider Great Plains Energy, Westar Energy merger

The Kansas Corporation Commission denied the petition for reconsideration filed jointly by Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy regarding the commission’s April 19, 2017 order denying approval of Great Plains Energy’s acquisition of Westar Energy.

Great Plains Energy and Westar continue to work to explore the possibility of a revised transaction. If a new agreement to combine is reached, the companies would file a new application under a new docket. While the companies have made progress, it will take more time to evaluate whether a new deal is possible.

“It is important for all parties to the case to have adequate time and ability in which to review any revised proposal,” said Terry Bassham, Great Plains Energy chairman and chief executive officer. “If we move forward, any revised transaction would have to be materially better than our standalone plan for both shareholders and customers, and it would have to have a high likelihood of success.”

Since filing the petition, the companies have had discussions with KCC staff and CURB, and agree that if a new agreement can be forged between the companies, a new application with the KCC would be the appropriate procedure to follow.

“If we reach an agreement, we agree a new KCC application would be the best route,” said Mark Ruelle, Westar Energy president and chief executive officer. “The KCC staff and CURB have indicated they would discuss a procedural schedule following a review of a new application to determine whether the 300 days allowable will be necessary to review the revised transaction. From Great Plains Energy’s and Westar’s perspective, we believe the work we did in the earlier docket could shorten the new schedule to fewer than the 300 days allowable.”

“We’ve learned a tremendous amount during the past few months of integration planning work and would be able to share that information if we reach an agreement and file a new application,” Bassham said. “We understand how important it is to get this right for our customers, investors, employees and our Kansas communities.”

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