Great Plains Energy, Inc. (ticker: GXP, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
UtiliCorp Changes Name to Aquila, Inc., Begins Trading Under Symbol ILA
Name Change Coincides With Introduction of New Brand
United announced today that it has changed its name to Aquila, Inc.
Starting today, the company's common stock trades on the New York,
Pacific and Toronto stock exchanges under the symbol ILA, which has
replaced the UtiliCorp symbol UCU.
In addition to announcing its new name, Aquila is launching a new
brand through a series of communications and advertisements targeted
to customers, community leaders and other external audiences.
``Aquila has successfully managed through change for nearly two
decades and has emerged a far stronger competitor,'' said Chairman
Richard C. Green, Jr. ``Our new brand signifies the company's pledge to
channel its expertise as a master of change to create products and
services that help customers and clients use change as a positive
catalyst for growth.''
``The uncertainty in today's environment makes it much more
difficult for companies to know how to respond to change,'' said Robert
K. Green, Aquila's president and chief executive officer. ``Our
portfolio of energy and risk management products and services can help
create certainty in an uncertain world.''
The kaleidoscope symbol in the new Aquila logo represents the
``endless array of solutions we make available by combining the skills
and talent of Aquila's people,'' he explained. ``We'll be using that
message to help differentiate Aquila in the energy marketplace.''
Last November, UtiliCorp announced it would change its corporate
name to Aquila following the successful completion of an exchange
offer for all outstanding publicly held common shares of its 80
percent-owned subsidiary. Completion of the exchange offer in January
2002 and recent receipt of regulatory approvals cleared the way for
the company to proceed with the name change.
Adoption of the Aquila name reflects the strategic focus of the
recombined company. ``The combination of stable cash flows from the
company's network business and superior risk management and wholesale
energy expertise in the merchant business position Aquila to emerge as
one of the industry's premier leaders,'' said Robert Green.
The wholesale energy trading and risk management business is now
Aquila Merchant Services and the company's regulated electric and
natural gas utilities in the United States operate under the name
Aquila Networks. UtiliCorp Networks Canada, which distributes
electricity in Alberta and British Columbia, will transition to the
name Aquila Networks Canada by the end of this year.
The company's wholesale energy subsidiary has operated under the
Aquila name since 1991. Aquila (pronounced ``ah-KWILL-uh'') is the name
of a constellation and is Latin for ``eagle.''
There is no need for holders of UtiliCorp common stock
certificates to exchange their existing shares for Aquila shares, as
the existing UtiliCorp certificates will continue to be valid.
Based in Kansas City, Aquila (formerly UtiliCorp United) is an
international energy and risk management company. It is one of the
largest wholesalers of electricity and natural gas in North America,
provides wholesale energy services in the United Kingdom and has a
presence in Germany and Scandinavia. It also operates electricity and
natural gas distribution networks in seven states and in Canada, New
Zealand and Australia. At December 31, 2001, Aquila had total assets
of $11.9 billion and 12-month sales of $40.4 billion. More information
is available at www.aquila.com.
Mary Amundsen, 816/467-3652
Ethan Hirsh, 816/467-3509
Media Relations, 816/467-3000
Ellen Fairchild, 816/527-1409