Billionaire Buffett Outbid in Move to Buy Oncor in Texas

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett just got outbid in the fight to buy Texas power transmitter Oncor.

Sempra Energy, based in San Diego announced Monday morning it had bought Oncor for $9.45 billion in cash, topping Buffett’s bid of 9 billion.

Sempra will take over the reorganized Energy Future Holdings Corp, the firm that owned Oncor and filed bankruptcy in 2014 listing $40 billion in debt.

It was just last week that Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said it was sticking to its original $9 billion bid after hedge fund Elliott Management bought part of Oncor’s debt.

That prompted to Sempra to jump and outbid Buffett and his Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway. Sempra now expects the sale to be closed in the first half of next year. But it also needs the approval of the Texas Public Utility Commission, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Delaware, the Justice Department and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Barring any objection by the four government agencies, Oncor Chief Executive Bob Shapard will take over as executive chairman of Oncor’s board and Allen Nye, the current Oncor general counsel will become CEO.

This is the fourth time an acquisition has been proposed of Oncor. Texas regulators rejected NextEra Energy’s proposal in April and a move last year by the Ray Hunt family of Dallas also failed.