Great Plains Energy Inc. has reached an agreement with the staff of Missouri’s utility regulators over its $8.6 billion takeover of rival Westar Energy Inc., a move that may bring the companies closer to completing their merger.
The agreement between the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light Co. and the staff of the Missouri Public Service Commission would require the company to keep its capital structure and credit ratings separate from Topeka-based Westar’s, the agency’s staff said in a filing Wednesday.
The agreement also bars Great Plains from seeking an increase in capital costs or in retail rates as a result of its Westar purchase.
The pact marks a turnaround for the regulatory commission’s staff, which less than three months ago described the Westar deal as “detrimental to the public interest” and said it should require approval from the state board as a condition to the merger’s closing.
An agreement may shorten a state review that could otherwise threaten to hold up a transaction that Westar and Great Plains have been expecting to close by next year.
Read more: Kansas City Star