Great Plains Energy to Buy Westar for About $8.6 Billion

NEW YORK (AP) -

Great Plains Energy is buying rival Westar for about $8.6 billion, creating one large power provider in Kansas and Missouri with more than 1.5 million customers.

The two companies say the combination will lower their costs and help reduce rate increases for customers.

Great Plains Energy owns Kansas City Power & Light, which provides power in Kansas and Missouri. Westar’s customers are in Kansas.

Kansas City, Missouri-based Great Plains Energy is offering $60 in cash and stock for each share of Topeka, Kansas-based Westar. The companies value the deal at about $12.2 billion, when debt is included.

In trading Tuesday afternoon, shares of Great Plains Energy Inc. fell $1.61, or 5.2 percent, to $29.39. Shares of Westar Energy Inc. rose $4.05, or 7.7 percent, to $56.97.