Sempra $9.5 bln Oncor fine print bears close read

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Until the emergence of Sempra, ownership of Energy Future and its valuable Oncor subsidiary appeared to going to either Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, which bid $9 billion for it, or Mr. Singer's hedge fund, Elliott Management, which is its biggest creditor and has opposed Berkshire's offer.

According to Reuters, the board at Energy Future opted for the Sempra bid after receiving assurances from Sempra officials that its offer for Oncor would received approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas, as well as a US bankruptcy judge.

Elliott recently bought debt in Oncor's parent in its latest effort to block Berkshire's bid, people familiar with that matter said August 16.

Sempra's bid marks yet another twist in the fate of Energy Future, which was acquired by private equity firms in 2007 for a record-setting $45 billion - but quickly ran into trouble under a huge debt load.

"We are disappointed our agreement to acquire Oncor has been terminated", said Greg Abel, Berkshire Hathaway Energy chairman, president and CEO.

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With San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Co. The company said it would own about 60 percent of Oncor under the deal, which would include financing from megabanks RBC Capital Markets and Morgan Stanley.

A bankruptcy judge and Texas regulators would need to sign off on the SRE takeover; BRK's deal was scheduled to go before the judge in DE on Monday. Sempra said Monday, Aug. 21, that it will also pick up $9.35 billion of the company's debt. Previously, in April Texas regulators rejected a proposed $18 billion sale of Oncor to NextEra Energy Inc.

Dallas-based Oncor serves nearly 10 million customers and operates more than 170,590 kilometres of distribution lines.

The energy company said in a statement when announcing the deal that it "will maintain the existing independence of Oncor's board of directors, which has protected Oncor and its customers during the ongoing Energy Future bankruptcy". It had announced rare support from utility commission and consumer groups, and it circulated a document with 44 regulatory commitments that it says parties that might intervene at the utility commission have already agreed to.

Sempra expects the acquisition to be earnings accretive from the start of 2018. These statements are based upon Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company's current intentions, assumptions, expectations and beliefs and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other important factors. Oncor is a division of bankrupt Energy Future Holdings Corp. Allen Nye, now Oncor's general counsel, will succeed Shapard as Oncor CEO.

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