Energy Future bankruptcy plan approved, clearing way for NextEra

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - Energy Future Holdings Corp [EFHC.UL][TXEFHE.UL], which owns the largest power network in Texas, received court approval on Friday to confirm its plan to exit bankruptcy and be acquired by NextEra Energy Inc NEE.N in a deal valued at around $18 billion.

Approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas is required for the purchase of Energy Future’s power distribution business, known as Oncor. A decision is expected in the coming months.

The commission last year scuttled a proposed acquisition of Oncor by Hunt Consolidated Inc of Texas.

Energy Future said on Tuesday it had resolved the last main disputes to its plan of reorganization, when its noteholders reached an agreement to modify what they were owed.

Friday’s order confirming the plan by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi ended one of the country’s largest and most expensive bankruptcy cases.

The company was created from the record $45 billion leveraged buyout of TXU Corp in 2007, a deal led by KKR & Co KKR.N and TPG Capital [TPG.UL].

Energy Future was undermined by a steep decline in natural gas prices that in turn led to depressed power prices and rendered the company’s debt unsustainable.

The company filed for bankruptcy in 2014 to cut its $42 billion in debt. It has already spun off its power generation business, known as Luminant, and its TXU retail utility to senior lenders who were owed $24 billion.

Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Richard Chang