Energy Future Holdings hires legal advisors -Debtwire

NEW YORK Thu Feb 7, 2013 5:02pm EST

NEW YORK Feb 7 (Reuters) - U.S. power company Energy Future Holdings (EFH), once known as TXU Corp, has hired legal advisors Kirkland & Ellies to lay the groundwork for a potential restructuring, Debtwire reported on Thursday, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

According to the Debtwire report, Kirkland is currently helping the company look at ways to lighten its debt load.

TXU Corp was taken over in 2007 by private equity for more than $40 billion, including debt, in the largest ever leveraged buyout. The deal was led by buyout firms KKR & Co and TPG Capital Management.

Energy Future Holdings is now struggling under a heavy debt load as natural gas prices have fallen sharply since 2007.

The TXU takeover was built on hopes that natural gas prices would stay high. But they have instead fallen sharply since the deal was announced, with benchmark U.S. prices dropping around 56 percent to around $3.28 per million British thermal units from around $7.50 per mmBtu in February 2007.

That's bad for power companies in Texas where power prices generally track natural gas prices.

EFH declined to comment on the Debtwire report. Kirkland did not respond to calls for comment.

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