Kansas Corporation Commission Denies Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy Petition for Reconsideration

May 23, 2017 at 5:14 PM EDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. & TOPEKA, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 23, 2017-- Today the Kansas Corporation Commission (“Commission” or “KCC”) denied the Petition for Reconsideration filed jointly by Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) and Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) regarding the Commission’s April 19, 2017, Order denying approval of Great Plains Energy’s acquisition of Westar Energy.

Great Plains Energy and Westar continue to work in a timely manner to explore the possibility of a revised transaction. If a new agreement to combine is reached, the companies would file a new application under a new docket. While the companies have made progress, it will take more time to evaluate whether a new deal is possible.

“It is important for all parties to the case to have adequate time and ability in which to review any revised proposal,” said Terry Bassham, Great Plains Energy chairman and chief executive officer. “If we move forward, any revised transaction would have to be materially better than our standalone plan for both shareholders and customers, and it would have to have a high likelihood of success.”

Since filing the petition, the companies have had discussions with KCC staff and CURB, and agree that if a new agreement can be forged between the companies, a new application with the KCC would be the appropriate procedure to follow.

“If we reach an agreement, we agree a new KCC application would be the best route,” said Mark Ruelle, Westar Energy president and chief executive officer. “The KCC staff and CURB have indicated they would discuss a procedural schedule following a review of a new application to determine whether the 300 days allowable will be necessary to review the revised transaction. From Great Plains Energy’s and Westar’s perspective, we believe the work we did in the earlier docket could shorten the new schedule to fewer than the 300 days allowable.”

“We’ve learned a tremendous amount during the past few months of integration planning work and would be able to share that information if we reach an agreement and file a new application,” Bassham said. “We understand how important it is to get this right for our customers, investors, employees and our Kansas communities.”

About Great Plains Energy

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest. Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company use KCP&L as a brand name. More information about the companies is available on the Internet at: www.greatplainsenergy.com or www.kcpl.com.

About Westar Energy

As Kansas’ largest electric utility, Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) provides customers the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. We have 7,800 MW of electric generation capacity that includes renewables and traditional power sources with half the electricity supplied to our more than 700,000 customers from emissions free sources – nuclear, wind and solar – with a third coming from renewables. We are a leader in electric transmission in Kansas coordinating a network of lines and substations that supports one of the largest consolidations of wind energy in the nation. Our employees live, volunteer and work in the communities we serve.

For more information about Westar Energy, visit us at www.WestarEnergy.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain matters discussed in this news release are “forward-looking statements.” The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 has established that these statements qualify for safe harbors from liability. Forward-looking statements may include words like “believe,” “anticipate,” “target,” “expect,” “pro forma,” “estimate,” “intend,” “guidance” or words of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements describe future plans, objectives, expectations or goals. Although Westar Energy believes that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include those discussed herein as well as (1) those discussed in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2016 (a) under the heading, “Forward-Looking Statements,” (b) in ITEM 1. Business, (c) in ITEM 1A. Risk Factors, (d) in ITEM 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and (e) in ITEM 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data: Notes 3, 14 and 16; (2) those discussed in the company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed May 9, 2017, (a) under the heading, "Forward-Looking Statements," (b) in ITEM 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and (c) in Part I, Financial Information, ITEM 1. Financial Statements: Notes 3, 11 and 12 and (d) in ITEM 1A. Risk Factors; and (3) other factors discussed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date such statement was made, and the company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement was made.

Statements made in this report that are not based on historical facts are forward-looking, may involve risks and uncertainties, and are intended to be as of the date when made. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to Great Plains Energy's proposed acquisition of Westar Energy, Inc. (Westar), the outcome of regulatory proceedings, cost estimates of capital projects and other matters affecting future operations. In connection with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Great Plains Energy and KCP&L are providing a number of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the provided forward-looking information. These important factors include: future economic conditions in regional, national and international markets and their effects on sales, prices and costs; prices and availability of electricity in regional and national wholesale markets; market perception of the energy industry, Great Plains Energy and KCP&L changes in business strategy, operations or development plans; the outcome of contract negotiations for goods and services; effects of current or proposed state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments, including, but not limited to, deregulation, re-regulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry; decisions of regulators regarding rates the Companies can charge for electricity; adverse changes in applicable laws, regulations, rules, principles or practices governing tax, accounting and environmental matters including, but not limited to, air and water quality; financial market conditions and performance including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates and credit spreads and in availability and cost of capital and the effects on derivatives and hedges, nuclear decommissioning trust and pension plan assets and costs; impairments of long-lived assets or goodwill; credit ratings; inflation rates; effectiveness of risk management policies and procedures and the ability of counterparties to satisfy their contractual commitments; impact of terrorist acts, including, but not limited to, cyber terrorism; ability to carry out marketing and sales plans; weather conditions including, but not limited to, weather-related damage and their effects on sales, prices and costs; cost, availability, quality and deliverability of fuel; the inherent uncertainties in estimating the effects of weather, economic conditions and other factors on customer consumption and financial results; ability to achieve generation goals and the occurrence and duration of planned and unplanned generation outages; delays in the anticipated in-service dates and cost increases of generation, transmission, distribution or other projects; Great Plains Energy's ability to successfully manage its transmission joint ventures or to integrate or restructure the transmission joint ventures of Westar; the inherent risks associated with the ownership and operation of a nuclear facility including, but not limited to, environmental, health, safety, regulatory and financial risks; workforce risks, including, but not limited to, increased costs of retirement, health care and other benefits; the ability of Great Plains Energy to obtain the regulatory approvals necessary to complete the anticipated acquisition of Westar and the terms of those approvals; the risk that a condition to the closing of the anticipated acquisition of Westar may not be satisfied or that the anticipated acquisition may fail to close; the outcome of any legal proceedings, regulatory proceedings or enforcement matters that may be instituted relating to the anticipated acquisition of Westar; the costs incurred to consummate or terminate the anticipated acquisition of Westar; the possibility that the expected value creation from the anticipated acquisition of Westar will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the credit ratings of Great Plains Energy following the anticipated acquisition of Westar; disruption from the anticipated acquisition of Westar making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees, regulators or suppliers and the diversion of management time and attention on the proposed transactions; and other risks and uncertainties.

Source: Great Plains Energy

Great Plains Energy
Calvin Girard, 816-654-1777
Senior Manager, Investor Relations
Katie McDonald, 816-556-2365
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Media line: 816-392-9455
Westar Energy
Cody VandeVelde, 785-575-8227
Director, Investor Relations
Jana Dawson, 785-575-1975
Director, Corporate Communications
Media line: 888-613-0003

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