Dec 14 - U.S.-based Energy Future Holdings Corp. (formerly known as TXU) has completed a private transaction with some lenders to exchange about $1.6 billion in unsecured pre-leveraged buyout (LBO) debt and senior unsecured LBO-related debt. As Standard & Poor's Ratings Services views this transaction as tantamount to a distressed debt exchange, we have lowered the corporate credit rating on Energy Future Holdings Corp. to 'SD'. This action raises the global corporate default tally to 79 issuers so far in 2012, according to Standard & Poor's report published today titled, ""here "." "By region, 45 of the 79 defaulters were based in the U.S., 22 in the emerging markets, nine in Europe, and three in the other developed region," said Diane Vazza, head of Standard & Poor's Global Fixed Income Research. "In comparison, the 2011 total (through Dec. 12, 2011) was 46, with 34 issuers based in the U.S., four in Europe, three in the emerging markets, and five in the other developed region," she added. So far this year, missed payments and bankruptcy filings have accounted for 22 defaults each, distressed exchanges have accounted for 16, and 13 are confidential. The remaining six entities have defaulted for various other reasons. In 2011, 21 issuers defaulted because of missed interest or principal payments, and 13 defaulted because of bankruptcy filings--both of which were among the top reasons for defaults in 2010. Distressed exchanges--another top reason for default in 2010--followed with 11 defaults in 2011. Of the remaining defaults, two issuers failed to finalize refinancing on bank loans, two were subject to regulatory action, one had its banking license revoked by its country's central bank, one was appointed a receiver, and two were confidential. The report is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. If you are not a RatingsDirect subscriber, you may purchase a copy of the report by calling (1) 212-438-7280 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ratings information can also be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site by using the Ratings search box located in the left column at www.standardandpoors.com.