PROTECTION ONE’S TROUBLES SINK WESTERN RESOURCES’ MERGER WITH KANSAS CITY POWER & LIGHT CO.

KANSAS CITY, Mo.

Kansas City Power & Light Co. (KCPL) has announced that its board of directors unanimously voted to terminate its amended and restated agreement and plan of merger, dated March 18, 1998, with Western Resources Inc. and certain affiliated companies. In a letter to David Wittig, Western’s CEO, A. Drue Jennings, KCPL’s CEO, cited the problems at Western’s Protection One subsidiary and its impact on Western as a whole as a key factor in the decision.

Western’s common stock has nose-dived from $43.13 upon announcement of the merger agreement March 18, 1998 to $16.94 on Dec. 31, 1999. Jennings concluded in his letter, “Both sides worked hard to bring this transaction to a successful completion, and we obviously regret that events have required us to take this action.”

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