Regulators deny proposed $12.2 billion merger of Great Plains, Westar

The Kansas Corporation Commission voted on Wednesday that a proposed merger of Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy was not in the public’s best interest, imperiling what would have been a $12.2 billion combination of utilities.

All three members of the commission agreed with an earlier staff recommendation against the proposed deal.

The commission staff had argued that the merger would have cost too many Kansas jobs and would saddle Great Plains, the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light, with too much debt.

It was a striking decision by the Kansas Corporation Commission, which usually approves these types of deals; the commission gave its blessing to two other acquisitions in the last six months.

Both companies said they were disappointed with the ruling and added they were considering what steps to take next.

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