It's not a good morning for TXU, and the opening graf of this subscription-only Wall Street Journal piece says it all:
"TXU Corp. may face tougher scrutiny of its proposed $32 billion buyout by private-equity interests including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. as a result of a finding it has abused Texas's deregulated power market."
Thirty-two billion? I thought it was $45 billion. (A Friend of Unfair Park reminds: "The bid was for $32B, but they were assuming $13B in debt." Me, not so smart.) So does this piece, about how Rep. Joe Barton's begging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other state regulators to "scrutinise the $45bn proposed deal to ensure that the interests of Texans were protected." (See, $45 billion.) "I will not ... stand idly by while investors from New York or anywhere else benefit on the backs of the Texas electricity grid or the Texas ratepayers," Barton wrote in a missive to to Joe Kelliher, head of the FERC. (Investors from New York. That's Texan for "sumbitches.")
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The fact that TXU appears to have ripped off you (and you and you and you and...oh, yeah, me) to the tune of $70 million isn't gonna help things much. Love this, though: TXU spokeswoman Lisa Singleton says the company's "obviously disappointed" by the Texas Public Utility Commission's findings. Everyone else, of course, is just delighted. --Robert Wilonsky