Texas showdown: Warren Buffett, Paul Singer square off on Oncor
Hedge fund Elliott Management Corp., dissatisfied with Berkshire Hathaway’s $9 billion deal to buy electricity-transmission business Oncor, is considering making a competing bid, according to people familiar with the matter.
Elliott is the biggest bondholder of bankrupt Energy Future Holdings Corp., which owns an 80% stake in Oncor and agreed to sell itself to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire on Friday. Court papers indicate that Elliott, a $33 billion hedge fund run by billionaire Paul Singer, is in position potentially to bottle up Berkshire’s deal in bankruptcy court or put together a better offer.
Berkshire’s deal is for $9 billion in cash in exchange for Energy Future including its stake in Oncor, the largest electric utility in Texas and one of the biggest power-transmission systems in the county. That is less than Energy Future needs to pay off creditors and end the massive bankruptcy that is now in its fourth year. The company has already seen the collapse of two previous efforts to sell the Oncor transmissions business, its crown jewel.
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