Additional entities to intervene in Westar-Great Plains merger

The Kansas Corporation Commission has granted several requests to intervene in the proposed $12.2 billion merger between Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy.

Requests from Occidental Chemicals, Midwest Energy and two local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers were granted Tuesday. Additionally, at least 15 other entities have either filed or been granted permission to intervene in the proposed merger. All say they have a particular interest in whether the merger receives approval and how the merger is structured.

Great Plains, the parent company of Kansas City Power and Light, wants to purchase Topeka, Kan.-based Westar for $8.6 billion, plus $3.6 billion to acquire Westar’s debt.

The Missouri Public Service Commission recently released an investigative report that was critical of the proposed merger, alleging, among other things, that it would violate a 2001 agreement that said KCP&L would not acquire any other public utility without prior approval from Missouri regulators. It is expected that either the Missouri regulatory agency’s staff or the Office of Public Counsel will file a complaint seeking to block the merger.

Great Plains Energy, however, say Missouri has no jurisdiction in the matter because Great Plains is only a holding company that is not subject to Missouri utility regulation.

Great Plains and Westar hope to finalize the merger next year.

Read more: Kansas City Star, Missourinet

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