Great Plains Revises Deal To Buy Westar Into a Merger Of Equals

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Great Plains Energy Inc. said Monday that the deal to buy Westar Energy Inc. has been revised to be a merger of equals with no premium paid to either company, creating a company with a combined equity value of about $14 billion. The electric utility companies said there will be no exchange of debt or cash, and will be just a stock-for-stock merger of equals. Under terms of the deal, Westar shareholders will receive one share in the new holding company for each Westar share they own, while Great Plains shareholders will receive 0.5981 shares of the new company for each Great Plains share they own. After the completion of the merger, current Westar Chief Executive Mark Ruelle will be non-executive chairman and Great Plains CEO Terry Bassham will be the CEO of the new company. Under the original acquisition deal, which was announced in May 2016, Great Plains planned to buy Westar in a deal valued at $12.2 billion. Great Plains and Westar stock were still inactive in premarket trade. Year to date, Great Plains's stock has gained 7.0% and Westar shares have lost 5.7%, while the SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF has tacked on 6.0% and the S&P 500 has advanced 8.3%.

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