NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Great Plains Energy (GXP) are down by 8.26% to $28.44 in pre-market trading on Tuesday morning, as the company announced today that it will acquire Westar Energy (WR) in a deal valued at approximately $8.6 billion.

When the deal closes, which is expected to be in the spring of next year, Westar will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Great Plains Energy.

Great Plains CEO Terry Bassham will become Chairman and CEO of the combined company. Mark Ruelle, the CEO of Westar, will remain in that position until the closing.

"The combination of our two companies is the best fit for meeting our region's energy needs," Bassham said. The companies service customers in Kansas. "This is an important transaction for Kansas and our entire region. By combining our two companies, we are keeping ownership local and management responsive to regulators, customers and regional needs, while enhancing our ability to build long-term value for shareholders."

Shares of Westar Energy are spiking by 7.71% to $57.01 this morning.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings has set a "buy" rating and a score of A- on Great Plains Energy stock. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that TheStreet Ratings covers.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. TheStreet Ratings feels its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that it evaluated.

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: GXP

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