Missouri regulatory staff claims jurisdiction over KCP&L parent’s bid for Westar Energy

Missouri wants in on the regulatory approval process in the planned $8.6 billion purchase by the parent of Kansas City Power & Light Co. of Topeka-based Westar Energy Inc.

Great Plains Energy Inc. announced last week it was buying Kansas’ largest electric utility and that it would seek approval from the Kansas Corporation Commission and some federal agencies, but not the Missouri Public Service Commission.

The staff of the Missouri regulatory body, however, said in a six-page motion that Great Plains agreed 15 years ago to seek the agency’s approval if it acquired a public utility or an affiliate of one. The agreement was part of the state’s 2001 approval to allow Great Plains to acquire Aquila, which now operates alongside KCP&L.

Great Plains attorneys countered quickly, saying the 2001 deal applies on to buying Missouri-regulated utilities, and that Westar operates only within Kansas.

A Great Plains spokeswoman and the attorney representing the Missouri Public Service Commission staff each declined to comment on the filings.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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