Westar shareholder sues to block merger with KCP&L parent company

A shareholder of Topeka, Kansas-based Westar Energy Inc. has sued, hoping to stop the utility’s proposed $14 billion merger with Great Plains Energy Inc., the parent of Kansas City Power & Light Co.

The complaint by Robert L. Reese claimed “deal protection devices” in the merger agreement limit other potential bidders from challenging the Westar deal with Kansas City-based Great Plains. It specifically cited “restrictive ‘fiduciary out’ provisions,” a “no solicitation provision,” and Great Plains’ right to match any “superior proposal,” among others.

“By agreeing to all of the deal protection devices, the individual defendants have locked up the proposed transaction and have precluded other bidders from making successful competing offers for the company,” the suit in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., said.

Spokeswomen with each power company said they could not comment on the lawsuit.

Westar and Great Plains each has scheduled shareholder votes Nov. 21 in their bid to join together as Monarch Energy Holding Inc., which would be based in Kansas City.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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