Merger okayed by Great Plains Energy, Westar shareholders

September 26, 2016 12:32 PM Eastern Daylight Time

KANSAS CITY, Mo. & TOPEKA, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP), the parent company of KCP&L, and Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) today announced that their respective shareholders approved all proposals necessary for Great Plains Energy’s acquisition of Westar Energy at each company’s respective shareholder meeting.

“We are pleased that our shareholders have overwhelmingly demonstrated their support for this transaction, and I thank Great Plains Energy and Westar shareholders and employees for their support throughout this process,” said Terry Bassham, chairman and chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy and KCP&L. “This is a great transaction for all Great Plains Energy and Westar stakeholders. Together, we will create a stronger combined company that will be better positioned to serve customers, generate hundreds of millions of dollars in operational savings for years to come, meet the region’s energy needs and achieve improved and more stable, long-term financial returns.”

“Our shareholders’ support for the transaction clearly demonstrates the value of combining Westar and Great Plains Energy,” said Mark Ruelle, president and chief executive officer of Westar. “Together, we will be stronger both financially and operationally, which will benefit customers, shareholders and the communities in which we operate. We continue to make progress toward completing the transaction in the spring of 2017.”

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the recent endorsements of the transaction by the Kansas City Area Development Council, regional economic development organizations and elected officials. Endorsements touted the economic benefits, competitive electric rates and commitment to growth that the combined utility will bring to the region.

“The combined generation portfolio of the new utility will be more diverse and sustainable,” said Bassham. “Once this transaction is complete, more than 45 percent of our combined retail customer demand will be met with emission-free energy and we will have one of the largest wind generation portfolios in the United States. This helps us maintain reliable, low cost energy for all of the residential and business customers we serve.”

Great Plains Energy has an established track record of gaining approval for utility acquisitions and successfully integrating with the acquired company. In 2008, Great Plains Energy completed its acquisition of Aquila, an electric utility serving customers in adjacent areas of Missouri. That acquisition exceeded expectations as it delivered and continues to deliver significant savings for customers.

For more information please visit www.kcpl.com/westaracquisition.

About Great Plains Energy

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest. Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company use KCP&L as a brand name. More information about the companies is available on the internet at www.greatplainsenergy.com or www.kcpl.com.

About Westar

Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is Kansas’ largest electric utility. For more than a century, Westar has provided Kansans the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their homes, businesses and communities. Every day, Westar professionals generate and deliver electricity, protect the environment and provide excellent service to nearly 700,000 customers. Westar’s 2,400 employees live, volunteer and work in the communities they serve. The company has 7,200 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by wind, coal, uranium, natural gas and landfill gas. Westar also is a leader in electric transmission in Kansas. For more information about Westar, visit us at www.WestarEnergy.com.