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Shareholders approve Great Plains/Westar merger of equals

Shareholders of Great Plains Energy Inc. and Westar Energy Inc. approved all measures to complete a merger of equals with a more than 90% approval vote at both companies. The agreement involves no transaction debt or exchange of cash, and would create a company with a combined equity value of approximately $15 Billion.

“We are excited about today’s approval from shareholders of both Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy,” Great Plains Chairman and CEO Terry Bassham said in a release.

“This vote indicates that both companies’ shareholders believe in our combined ability to create a stronger regional energy provider, positioned to better serve all of our customers. This new combined company will ensure we keep ownership of our utility assets in our region to grow local economies.”

The merger still has a couple hurdles to overcome. The biggest is the need for approval from the Kansas Corporation Commission, though the merger addresses the concerns that led to the commission voting against the two companies’ previous attempt to combine. Another hurdle is shareholder lawsuits trying to slow down or tank the deal.

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