WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - Texas regulators on Thursday said they remained opposed to NextEra Energy Inc’s (NEE.N) proposed $18 billion acquisition of Oncor, the largest network of power lines in Texas, a deal regulators have said was not in the public interest.
Oncor is majority owned by bankrupt Energy Future Holdings Corp, which has been trying to the sell power distribution business to repay it creditors.
The state’s Public Utility Commission blocked the sale in March, but NextEra asked the commission to reconsider its decision.
“I‘m inclined to believe our original decision was the correct one,” Commissioner Kenneth Anderson said at Thursday’s hearing, which was broadcast over the internet.
However, the commissioners agreed they would not rule on a request to reconsider their March decision until June 7 to allow further briefing on the deal.
NextEra did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra has been pursuing Oncor and its steady revenue stream since 2015. Energy Future has argued that the deal would put Oncor under the control of a large, stable utility holding company and provide the best outcome for Energy Future creditors, who have been waiting to be repaid since the company filed for bankruptcy in April 2014.
Earlier this month, investment fund Elliott Management sued Energy Future and alleged it has been prevented from pursuing its proposal to bring Energy Future out of bankruptcy. Elliott, Energy Future’s largest creditor, wants to convert the company’s debt into equity and eventually put Oncor under the fund’s control.
Shares of NextEra were up 0.1 percent at $136.57 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Phil Berlowitz