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Great Plains and Westar win regulators’ approval, will combine as Evergy

Nearly two years after Kansas City Power & Light’s parent company initially agreed to acquire Kansas’ largest utility, regulators on Thursday approved a “merger of equals” between Kansas City-based Great Plains Energy and Topeka, Kansas-based Westar Energy.

The Missouri Public Service Commission and the Kansas Corporation Commission both approved the deal, which brings together about 600,000 Missouri customers and 1 million Kansas customers.

The new company will be called Evergy.

Great Plains shareholders will get 0.5981 shares of stock in Evergy for each Great Plains share they own. Westar shareholders will get a one-to-one swap for their Westar shares.

Both Missouri and Kansas regulators ruled that the deal was in the public interest. Backers of the merger have said it’s practical because it would eliminate costs.

The new company will have about 5,000 employees in total, which is about 300 less than the two companies had combined before they agreed to merge in 2016.

“The Merger will create a stronger combined company, with more customers, more geographic diversification, no transaction debt to complete the merger, and the prospect for higher earnings growth rates than either GPE or Westar would be able to achieve on a stand-alone basis,” the Missouri Public Service Commission order said.

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