TEXAS, July 12, 2017 - Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy has reached a merger agreement with Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH). The $9-billion-dollar all-cash deal buys reorganized EFH, which results in the procurement of Oncor. The energy delivery company currently serves around 10 million people in Texas, where Berkshire Hathaway already houses headquarters for 10 companies, including BNSF Railway and Charter Brokerage.
“Oncor is an excellent fit for Berkshire Hathaway, and we are pleased to make another long-term investment in Texas. When we invest in Texas, we invest big,” said Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. “Oncor is a great company with similar values and outstanding assets.”
A 2007 buyout of EFH, formerly TXU, promised “stronger environmental policies and new investments in alternative energy.” However, Sierra Club took EFH to court in 2013 over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act involving the company’s coal operations. In 2014, EFH filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company emerged about nine months ago, after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved their Third Amended Plan of Reorganization, proposing an 80 percent sale of its interest in Oncor.
“By joining forces with Berkshire Hathaway Energy, we will gain access to additional operational and financial resources as we continue to position Oncor to support the evolving needs of our state,” said Bob Shapard, CEO of Oncor. “Being part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy is a great outcome for Oncor. Oncor will remain a locally managed Texas company headquartered in Dallas, committed to the communities we serve, and our customers will continue to receive the safe and reliable service they have come to expect from our dedicated team of employees.”
The merger could be a boon to green energy. Berkshire Hathaway Energy has an interest in solar power, investing $6 billion in solar energy in 2016. Oncor also has a commitment to alternative energies, offering customers ways in which to take advantage of tax incentives and other benefits of the solar photovoltaic program.
“This partnership combines the strengths of two companies that share a common goal of providing exceptional customer service and a commitment to invest in critical infrastructure that will make the Texas energy grid even stronger and more reliable,” said Greg Abel, Berkshire Hathaway Energy chairman, president and CEO.
The implied equity value of Oncor is approximately $11.25 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017. Upon closing of the transaction, Bob Shapard will assume the role of executive chairman of the Oncor Board, and Allen Nye will take over as CEO of Oncor.
“We are excited to begin the regulatory approval process as this transaction has significant support across our key stakeholders,” Nye said. “The stakeholders are eager to obtain a great outcome for Texas.”