FERC approves $18B NextEra-Oncor deal

Dive Brief:

  • Federal regulators have given the thumbs-up to NextEra's plan to purchase Oncor Electric Delivery Co. LLC, moving the much-debated deal closer to fruition, as well as its bid to acquire Texas Transmission Holdings Corp, which holds a 19.75 stake in the transmission and distribution utility. 
  • SNL Energy reports the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the deal last week in a delegated letter order, concluding the deal is in the public interest.
  • A hearing next month at the Public Utility Commission of Texas is the next step in NextEra's bid to purchase the utility out of the bankruptcy proceeding of its parent company, Energy Future Holdings. Selling the utility is a key to EFH's plan to exit bankruptcy.

Dive Insight:

FERC last week moved the Oncor-NextEra deal a step closer to fruition, signing off on the acquisition in an unheralded letter order. Next up, regulators in Texas must approve the deal along with related transactions.

In December, the Texas PUC approved a draft preliminary decision approving the deal, though regulators have some concerns about provisions related to the rights of minority owners of Texas Transmission Investment. NextEra plans to purchase TTI, which owns a  20% indirect interest in Oncor, and a hearing has been scheduled for February.

Last year, a bankruptcy court in Delaware authorized NextEra's deal to buy the utility valued at more than $18 billion. TTI will be acquired in a separate $2.4 billion transaction. The deal is moving forward after Energy Future Holdings won approval from the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to sell its transmission and distribution utility. 

A previous bid for Oncor, led by Hunt Consolidated, would have operated the utility as a Real Estate Investment Trust but ultimately failed, opening the door for NextEra.

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Filed Under: Corporate News
Top image credit: Oncor