Policy & Regulation

Sempra’s Purchase of Oncor Approved by FERC

By Editors of Power Engineering

Sempra Energy and Oncor Electric Delivery Company announced it received authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for Sempra Energy’s purchase of Energy Future Holdings Corp., the owner of 80 percent of Oncor.

A bankruptcy court had previously approved the $9.45 billion buyout.

Texas regulators twice blocked a previous attempt by NextEra Energy to purchase Oncor, even after it was approved by a bankruptcy court. The regulators said NextEra’s $18.7 billion bid raised concerns about the loss of ring-fencing measures that would protect Oncor’s credit rating, as well as who would control the company.

The fate of Oncor encountered more twists and turns after the rulings, as Berkshire Hathaway made a $9 billion bid for the company. That bid was soon topped by a proposal by Elliott Management Corp 11, the largest creditor of Energy Future Holdings Corp., for $9.3 billion.

Sempra’s $9.45 billion bid came just hours before a purchase hearing deadline. A person familiar with the matter said Elliott’s public bid allowed Sempra to quietly work on its bid for weeks.