It’s back to the Missouri Public Service Commission hearing room for Great Plains Energy Inc. and Aquila Inc. after settlement talks with parties to the case failed to come up with an agreement on the purchase of Aquila’s Missouri operations by Great Plains and its subsidiary, Kansas City Power & Light Co.

“While the sessions have been productive and useful, no comprehensive agreement has been reached to this point,” Aquila and Great Plains said in a status report earlier this week. The parties are proposing that commission hearings, which had been delayed while settlement talks were ongoing, be resumed with new filings leading to hearing discussions starting April 21.

Terms of the transaction call for it to be completed by May 1. It is part of a three-way deal that includes South Dakota-based Black Hills Corp. acquiring Aquila’s electric and gas operations in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa for $940 million. Great Plains is to pay approximately $1.7 billion in cash and stock and assume $1 billion of Aquila debt for the Missouri operations, effectively putting a period at the end of the 100-year saga of Aquila and its predecessor companies

Kansas regulators still must act on the merger. Earlier this week Colorado regulators approved the sale and transfer of Aquila Inc.’s utility operations in Colorado to Black Hills (see Daily GPI, Feb. 19).

The linked transactions were first announced in early 2007 (see Daily GPI, Feb. 8, 2007).

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