Acquisition through bankruptcy produces utility with most US customers
Pursuing an acquisition where numerous others had tried and failed
Sempra Energy sought to acquire Energy Future Holdings Corporation (EFH) and its indirect 80 percent interest in Oncor Electric Delivery Company, Texas' largest utility, but it faced significant obstacles arising from EFH's long-running, contentious chapter 11 bankruptcy case—the largest industrial bankruptcy in US history.
Developing a precedent for a distress acquisition of critical infrastructure
With our guidance, Sempra prevailed in bringing an end to the nearly four-year contest for Oncor, beating out multiple alternative transactions with its US$9.45 billion cash acquisition proposal. We designed a transactional structure, helped Sempra implement financing options and led negotiations to persuade creditors and the bankruptcy court to approve Sempra’s acquisition. The transaction provided a consensual resolution among key stakeholders, after years of litigation and acrimony in an extraordinarily complex chapter 11 proceeding.
Resolving a bankruptcy and continuing utility service for millions
The US$9.45 billion acquisition of EFH was transformational for Sempra, diversifying its asset base and creating a business that employs approximately 20,000 people and serves more than 43 million customers—making it the largest utility holding company by customer base in the US. It achieved a comprehensive agreement to resolve EFH's bankruptcy, while ensuring that there would be no disruption to Oncor's electric transmission and distribution business or the services it provides for the benefit of millions of Texans.