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UTILICORP ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF KANSAS GAS DISTRIBUTION AND TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS

 KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- UtiliCorp United (NYSE: UCU) announced today that it has signed a letter of intent with Arkla, Inc. (NYSE: ALG) to purchase Arkla's Kansas gas distribution and transmission systems for approximately $25 million.
 In November, UtiliCorp purchased Arkla's Nebraska gas distribution system for approximately $78 million.
 The Kansas systems, which serve about 22,000 natural gas customers in Wichita and several surrounding communities, will be merged with UtiliCorp's Peoples Natural Gas division.
 Upon completion of the acquisition, Peoples Natural Gas will serve approximately 62,000 Kansas customers in 58 communities and about 490,000 customers throughout its five-state service area which also includes Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Colorado.
 The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of 1993.
 The all cash transaction will be funded initially via short-term debt.
 "We are extremely pleased to extend our service to these communities," said UtiliCorp Chairman and President Richard C. Green, Jr. "With our Peoples division and its Liberal gas distribution acquisition in 1988, and our Kansas Public Service division in Lawrence, this expansion of our service area will establish an even stronger Kansas presence for us."
 Peoples Natural Gas became a UtiliCorp division in late 1985 when it was acquired from Enron Corporation. Since 1984, Utilicorp has acquired eight gas and electric utilities in seven states and the province of British Columbia.
 Based in Kansas City, UtiliCorp serves more than one million utility customers. The company also is engaged in various non-regulated energy and utility related enterprises.
 -0- 12/23/92
 /CONTACT: Phil Hermanson of Utilicorp, 816-691-3541/
 (UCU)


CO: UtiliCorp United ST: Minnesota IN: SU: TNM

KH -- MN004 -- 9518 12/23/92 11:12 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 23, 1992
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