What’s next for the Great Plains-Westar merger?


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A proposed buyout between Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy proved to be a hotly contested item this year, eventually seeing the companies turn about-face and transform the deal into a merger.

In July, Great Plains announced the merger of equals, which would create a new Fortune 500 company in Missouri with a combined equity value of about $14 billion. The new, combined company will provide electric utility service to approximately one million Kansas customers and nearly 600,000 customers in Missouri.

Great Plains and Westar to merge into Missouri Fortune 500 company

But since then, little has been heard about the merger. So where does it stand now?

For the proposed merger to go through, the Missouri Public Service Commission, the Kansas Corporation Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the KCC, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would need to give approval, and clearance would need to be given under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

In Missouri, the step has finally been taken, with the companies – Great Plains, Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCPL), KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company (GMO), and Westar – filing their joint application for approval with the Missouri PSC on August 31.

The PSC is currently accepting applications intervene, of which there are currently four listed in the PSC’s case. Those seeking to intervene have until Sept. 27 to file an application.

A procedural conference is scheduled for Monday, October 2, beginning at 10:00 a.m. in Room 310 of the Governor Office Building.

In their press release, Great Plains said that transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.