Kansas regulators to rule on $12.2 billion Westar-Great Plains deal

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

Kansas regulators are preparing to decide whether the state's largest electric company can be acquired by a Missouri-based utility in a $12.2 billion deal.

The Kansas Corporation Commission planned to issue its order Wednesday afternoon.

Great Plains Energy of Kansas City, Missouri, says its acquisition of Westar Energy of Topeka would create nearly $2 billion in efficiencies over the next decade to keep electric rates in check.

Critics of the deal contend that Great Plains is paying too much for Westar. They argue that the combined company would be so fragile that regulators would be forced to boost rates to keep it stable.

The combined company would serve 1.5 million customers from central Kansas to central Missouri. Great Plains is the parent of Kansas City Power & Light Co.

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