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Texas regulator approves Sempra’s $9.45bn acquisition of Oncor

EBR Staff Writer Published 09 March 2018

Sempra Energy is all set to wrap up its $9.45bn acquisition of Energy Future Holdings (EFH) and the latter’s approximate stake of 80% in Oncor Electric Delivery after securing approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).

The approval from PUCT represents the last regulatory approval needed for Sempra Energy to complete its pending acquisition, which was announced in August 2017.

It follows last month’s final approval from the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, which had also confirmed the plan of reorganization for EFH.

In last December, the transaction was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Sempra Energy said that although there are some more customary closing conditions to be met, the transaction is on track to be completed shortly.

Sempra Energy chairman, president and CEO Debra L. Reed said: "The Public Utility Commission's approval of our application is a significant milestone for both Oncor and Sempra Energy.

"We are pleased the Commission has found our transaction to be in the public interest. Sempra Energy is committed to being a good partner for the state and is supportive of Oncor's mission to provide Texans with safe, reliable and affordable electric service."

The transaction between the parties is expected to resolve EFH’s bankruptcy case and also help in continued safe, reliable power supply to Oncor customers.

Oncor CEO Bob Shapard said: "We appreciate the Commission's support throughout this long, four-year process to find a new majority owner for Oncor.

"We believe this is an excellent outcome for our company, our customers and our employees. Sempra Energy is a well-run company, and we believe they will be a strong, stable majority owner for Oncor and an excellent partner for Texas."

The Dallas-based Oncor is a regulated electric transmission and distribution service company, which is claimed to be the largest electric utility in Texas with about 19,71,44km of lines and more than 3.4 million advanced meters.

As per the agreement with EFH, Sempra had committed to support Oncor's plan to invest $7.5bn of capital over a five-year period for the expansion and strengthening of its transmission and distribution network.