Westar and Great Plains Energy announce new merger agreement

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy have announced a merger between the two companies. A previous agreement was blocked by the Kansas Corporation Commission. The new combined company will provide electric utilities to nearly one million customers in Kansas and another 600,000 customers in Missouri. The merger creates a company with a combined equity value of approximately $14 billion. The combined company will have a new name, yet to be established.

In a media release this morning, the two companies say the merger will create cost savings and operating efficiencies between $35-40 million dollars in 2018 and $140-170 million by 2021.

The company also says in the release, there will be no layoffs as a result of the merger. They say any reductions in staff will come through attrition and normal retirements from Westar and Great Plains Energy. The company will maintain at least 500 employees in its downtown Topeka headquarters for at least five years after the merger.

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