(Repeats story from Wednesday without changes to text)
By Tom Hals and Nick Brown
June 4 Texas power giant Energy Future Holdings
will square off against creditors in bankruptcy court on
Thursday over a key question: will borrowing billions of dollars
prop up the business or deepen its insolvency?
On Thursday, Energy Future will ask Delaware Bankruptcy
Judge Christopher Sontchi to allow one of its two main units to
borrow an interim $2.7 billion, and to access cash that is now
subject to creditor liens. A group of junior creditors objected
to the financing, saying in court papers Energy Future is worth
more than it admits, which could pave the way for other
Even if the judge approves the financing on Thursday, the
junior creditors are likely to carry on a fierce courtroom fight
about the company's value as they seek more than the 3 cents on
the dollar proposed in the company's restructuring.
Energy Future has said it needs to borrow the money to pay
vendors, satisfy regulators and make payroll at its TCEH
generating and retail utility business.
Under Energy Future's proposed restructuring, Apollo Global
Management and other first-lien lenders holding $24.4 billion in
debt would take control of TCEH. Junior creditors would have to
settle for around $200 million of the $7.7 billion they are
Those creditors want to prove the company is worth more, and
one creditor faction led by Wilmington Savings Fund Society has
sought a hearing on the matter as early as June 30.
The junior creditors are likely to argue that rising natural
gas prices and changes in energy pricing methods in Texas, among
other factors, could add value. Energy Future wants to postpone
the valuation debate until much later in its Chapter 11 case.
The company's April bankruptcy is one of the largest-ever
Chapter 11 cases.
Its bankruptcy exit plan would cut a large portion of its
$42 billion debt, much of which was run up in the 2007 leveraged
buyout of TXU Corp that created the company.
Led by KKR & Co, TPG and the private equity arm of Goldman
Sachs, the buyout was an ill-timed bet on natural gas prices,
which began to plummet after the deal closed.
The proposed turnaround plan would transfer ownership of the
regulated side of the company's business, which includes the
Oncor power line unit, to unsecured creditors of Oncor's parent.
The parent, Energy Future Intermediate Holdings, will seek
permission on Thursday to borrow $5.4 billion. Objections to
that loan, which is separate from the $2.7 billion TCEH loan,
are over borrowing procedures and how the money will be used.
The EFIH loan would refinance that unit's senior creditors,
but drama may unfold there, as well: the creditors argue they
are entitled not only to full payback but to an additional early
redemption fee, known as a make-whole, a point EFIH disputes. A
trial on that question has been scheduled for September.
(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware and Nick Brown
in New York)