NextEra agrees to buy Oncor from Energy Future Holdings for $18.4B

A Florida-based energy company announced an $18.4 billion deal on Friday that would give it an 80 percent stake in Texas' largest electric utility under an agreement that could eventually help resolve one of the largest bankruptcies in US history. The company said the deal will cover all debt associated with Energy Future Holdings' control of Oncor, which supplies power to more than 3 million people in Texas. Regulators cited their belief that the deal was not in the public interest as one of the main reasons for rejecting it. NextEra may have learned something from that experience, offering a detailed list of bullet points in its press release about the benefits of the deal to Oncor and its customers. And would mean the Dallas-based Hunts have lost their star-crossed battle to make a deal.

Proceeds from the Oncor deal will help pay off some creditors.

Oncor's parent company, Energy Future Holdings, has been in bankruptcy for more than two years.

Energy Future, the largest power company in Texas, filed for bankruptcy on April 29, 2014, in one of the largest ever bankruptcies in the United States.

The Oncor name and the company's management will be retained, along with its Dallas headquarters, when the deal closes, NextEra Chief Executive Jim Robo said Friday.

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"NextEra proposed to take a leadership role in the integration of renewable energy into the power grid in Hawaii", Nemeroff said.

Rivals have jousted for years to buy Energy Future's 80% stake in Oncor, which delivers electricity to 10 million Texas homes. The Florida-based company touted its strong balance sheet, promising to fund $9.5 billion to repay EFH debt.

The sale to the Hunt group fell apart because of stipulations imposed by regulators on the consortium's plan to turn Oncor into a tax-friendly real estate investment trust. Earlier this month, NextEra was summarily denied its bid in a 2-0 vote to acquire Hawaiian Electric Industries after almost two years of jockeying for ownership of HECO.

At the time, TXU was riding high.

The company has already reported selling two gas-fueled power plants in Pennsylvania for $760 million. By the time it declared bankruptcy in 2014, the original investors were forced to write down almost all the $8 billion they invested.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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