Kansas regulators reject sale of utility to Missouri firm

Photo Courtesy: MGN
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas regulators rejected the proposed sale of the state's largest electric company to a Missouri-based utility for $12.2 billion. The Kansas Corporation Commission issued an order on Wednesday against the proposal from Great Plains Energy of Kansas City, Mo., to buy Westar Energy. of Topeka.

Critics of the deal argued that Great Plains would pay as much as $4.9 billion too much. They said the combined company would be so economically fragile that utility regulators would be forced to boost rates for its 1.5 million customers from central Kansas to central Missouri.

Both companies said the acquisition would create nearly $2 billion in efficiencies over the next decade and keep electric rates in check.

Great Plains is the parent of Kansas City Power & Light Co. Some of KCP&L's customers are on the southern part of the Missouri plains and the northern part of the Ozarks, including around Nevada, Lamar, Stockton, Osceola, Warsaw, Appleton City, and Clinton.