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Oncor and Sempra Energy reach settlement with key Texas stakeholders

Staff Writer |
Oncor Electric Delivery Company and Sempra Energy announced a settlement agreement with several key stakeholders for Sempra Energy's pending acquisition of Energy Future Holdings Corp., including EFH's indirect, approximate 80-percent ownership of Oncor.

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The parties to the settlement agreement include Staff of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), the Office of Public Utility Counsel, Steering Committee of Cities Served by Oncor, and Texas Industrial Energy Consumers.

This settlement agreement is a significant step forward, demonstrating positive momentum for Sempra Energy's proposed acquisition of a majority stake in Oncor, both companies said.

With this settlement, the parties have agreed that the acquisition is in the public interest, meets Texas statutory standards, and will bring substantial benefits.

The parties to the agreement will ask the PUCT to approve the acquisition, consistent with the governance, regulatory and operating commitments in the settlement agreement.

Consistent with Sempra Energy's and EFH's merger agreement, the settlement includes regulatory commitments that preserve the existing Oncor ring-fence and the independence of Oncor's board of directors.

To protect Oncor, its customers and employees, the commitments also include extinguishing of all debt currently at EFH and Energy Future Intermediate Holding Company LLC.

Sempra Energy and Oncor will continue settlement discussions with additional stakeholders in the coming weeks.

On Aug. 21, Sempra Energy entered into an agreement to acquire EFH. In September, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved EFH's entry into the merger agreement with Sempra Energy and, in October, Sempra Energy and Oncor filed a joint Change-in-Control application with the PUCT.

On Oct. 16, the PUCT set a procedural schedule to complete a review of the joint application by early April 2018, with a proposed February 2018 hearing date.

Earlier this week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order authorizing Sempra Energy's acquisition of EFH, subject to customary conditions.

The EFH transaction closing remains subject to further approvals by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the PUCT, among other approvals and closing conditions.

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