July 10, 2017 / 11:02 AM / a month ago

BRIEF-Great Plains Energy, Westar Energy announce amended agreement

July 10 (Reuters) - Westar Energy Inc:

* Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy announce amended agreement, agree to a no-premium merger of equals to form leading electric utility

* Westar Energy Inc -deal ‍expected to be earnings accretive for both companies in first year​

* Westar Energy Inc says upon closing, Ruelle will become non-executive chairman of new company board

* Westar Energy Inc - Great Plains Energy shareholders will receive .5981 shares of common stock in new holding company for each Great Plains Energy share​

* Says ‍transaction has a total equity value of approximately $14 billion​

* Westar Energy Inc says Bassham will serve as president and chief executive officer of new company and will also serve as a member of board of directors

* Deal is ‍structured to permit a tax-free exchange of shares. No transaction debt will be incurred​

* Westar Energy Inc - Great Plains Energy shareholders will receive .5981 shares of common stock in new holding company for each Great Plains Energy share​

* Westar Energy Inc - ‍following completion of merger, Westar Energy shareholders will own approximately 52.5 percent of combined company​

* Westar Energy Inc says following completion of merger, Great Plains Energy shareholders will own approximately 47.5 percent of combined company

* Westar Energy Inc - co and Great Plains Energy will merge to form a new holding company, which will operate regulated electric utilities in Kansas and Missouri

* Westar Energy Inc - ‍upon closing, Ruelle will become non-executive chairman of new company board​

* Westar Energy Inc - Great Plains , Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System agreed to terminate preferred convertible equity commitment​

* Westar Energy Inc - new holding co expects to set initial common dividend at a level which maintains current dividend for Great Plains Energy shareholders​

* Westar Energy Inc - ‍initial common dividend for new holding co will result in approximately a 15 percent dividend increase for Westar Energy shareholders​

* Westar Energy Inc - ‍board of directors will consist of an equal number of directors nominated from each company​

* Westar Energy Inc -combined co anticipates repurchasing common stock to return excess cash to shareholders, maintain balanced consolidated capital structure​

* Westar Energy Inc says upon closing of deal, Great Plains Energy's current dividend will be maintained

* Westar - ‍great plains will redeem all of previously issued debt, convertible preferred stock it issued in contemplation of previous plan to acquire co

* Westar Energy Inc says expect merger to be accretive to their respective standalone earnings per share in first year after closing and accretive thereafter​

* Westar - deal ‍expected to create cost savings and net operating efficiencies of about $35-45 million in 2018, growing to $140-170 million by 2021 and beyond​

* Westar Energy Inc says company will provide a minimum of $50 million in total rate credits for all customers upon closing of transaction

* Westar Energy Inc - "‍combined company has committed that there will be no layoffs as a result of transaction​"

* Westar - employee reductions related to deal to be accomplished through attrition, normal retirements from both Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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