Judge Puts Energy Future's bankruptcy plan on hold

By James Osborne, Published 5/4/2015 2:31 PM Dallas Morning News Biz Beat Blog

A U.S. bankruptcy judge put Energy Future Holdings’ restructuring plan on hold Monday, giving creditors more time to work on an alternative strategy to conclude the Texas electricity giant’s $42 billion bankruptcy case.

During a hearing in Wilmington, Del., Judge Christopher Sontchi said he would reconsider the company’s request to move forward with scheduling in late June.

“It has been the case to dual track multiple things, and it has been challenging and time consuming. We have an opportunity here, with mediation and also with active exploration of an alternative transaction to appropriately focus on those issues more directly,” he said.

The ruling comes a little more than a year into what is one of the largest bankruptcies in U.S. history, pitting some of Wall Street’s biggest names against each other. In 2007 private equity firms KKR & Co. and TPG paid $40 billion to take over the former TXU Corp. through a leveraged buyout, betting that Texas power prices were poised to rise. They were wrong. Since 2007 wholesale power prices in Texas have plummeted as cheap natural gas and wind power flooded the state’s electricity market.

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