Like most mergers and acquisitions, the unexpected news that Great Plains Energy will purchase Westar Energy creates uncertainty and therefore concern about possible employment and rate changes. But the pending transaction, worth an estimated $12.2 billion, also offers some reassurance. Great Plains’ status as the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light means it’s no stranger to the region or the Kansas Corporation Commission, which must approve the deal. Great Plains, based in Kansas City, Mo., already shares power plants with Westar, Kansas’ largest utility. And Great Plains plans to keep Westar’s headquarters in Topeka, under the expanded umbrella of a Midwestern company serving more than 1.5 million businesses and homes. – Rhonda Holman
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