WILMINGTON, Del., Feb 14 (Reuters) – Energy Future Holdings Corp outlined on Tuesday a deal that resolved the biggest disputes hanging over the company as it opened a trial to confirm its plan to exit bankruptcy and be acquired by NextEra Energy Inc for about $18 billion.
Dallas-based Energy Future indirectly owns Oncor, the largest distributor of power in Texas, and is using the sale to NextEra to finance its plan to repay creditors.
A lawyer for Energy Future told the court at the start of Tuesday’s hearing that its noteholders had agreed to a discount of what they were owed to settle a dispute that erupted in the wake of a November ruling by a U.S. Appeals Court.
The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia had ruled that the company owed noteholders hundreds of millions of dollars in unanticipated payments for the early redemption of their securities, upsetting a prior exit plan.
Energy Future’s lawyer told the court the first-lien noteholders agreed to accept a 5 percent discount of the early redemption payment and second-lien noteholders agreed to a 12.5 percent discount. That freed up cash for junior creditors.
“That drops away 90 percent of what we planned to address over next four days,” said Energy Future’s lawyer Chad Husnick, of Kirkland & Ellis, during opening arguments.
Energy Future still faces objections relating to asbestos personal injury lawsuits, and from the U.S. Trustee, a government bankruptcy watchdog, regarding the payment of fees.
Energy Future will begin presenting evidence to confirm its plan on Wednesday.
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.
Energy Future was created from the record $45 billion leveraged buyout of TXU Corp in 2007, a deal led by KKR & Co and TPG Capital.
(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by Alan Crosby)
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