The largest electric utility in the state of Kansas has been sold, reports USA TODAY. In a deal worth almost $9 billion, Westar Energy will be acquired by Kansas City-based Great Plains Energy.
Westar Energy currently services nearly 700,000 customers and employs about 2,400 people. After the acquisition, Great Plains Energy will provide power to more than 1.5 million customers in Missouri and Kansas. The company will be responsible for 13,000 megawatts of power generation and 10,000 miles of grid lines. The deal stipulates that Great Lakes Energy will assume Westar's $3.6 billion in debt. Westar’s stock jumped at the news, while Great Lakes shares fell.
Great Lakes Energy CEO and chairman Terry Bassham said, “This is an important transaction for Kansas and our entire region.” He added that the combination of the two companies is the best fit for meeting the region’s energy needs.