“NextEra Still Faces Skepticism over Oncor Acquisition”
NextEra Energy has taken its bid to acquire Texas utility Oncor before the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the same body that last year effectively sank a previous attempt to buy the same company.
If the first day of hearings Feb. 21 was any indication, NextEra’s $18.7 billion attempt to gain 100% ownership of Oncor is no slam dunk.
“The TIEC members represent billions of dollars captive to Oncor that could be harmed if this doesn’t turn out well,” said the TIEC’s legal counsel, Phillip Oldham. “Our group requires us to kick the tires, look under the hood and see how much stress this situation can endure.”
The TIEC has submitted testimony from Charles Griffey, a consultant and former regulatory executive with Houston-based Reliant Energy. Griffey offered a number of recommendations that he said would improve Oncor’s position, including a requirement that all the board members be Texas residents.
“We ask you to take a hard look at that issue in particular,” Oldham said. “Our desire is to ensure Oncor is protected and continues to do the job it’s been doing, even if there are problems with the parent.”
Oldham also said NextEra is not really “extinguishing” Oncor’s debt, a position with which Anderson agreed.