TXU: $32 Billion Buyout Bid Still Best

TXU Corp. said Monday that it hasn't received a better offer than the $32 billion buyout bid led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group, and TXU's financial adviser doesn't expect a higher bid.

The KKR-Texas Pacific bid would be the largest private takeover in U.S. corporate history.

TXU said it had 'solicited interest' from more than 70 potential buyers, including other utility companies, and provided detailed financial information to nine of them. But none have submitted a formal proposal or indicated that they are preparing a superior bid, TXU said.

Financial adviser Lazard Freres & Co. told a special committee at TXU that it doesn't believe any superior proposals will emerge, based on its shopping efforts so far, TXU said.

The Dallas-based electric utility has two more weeks to solicit rival bids. The deal, however, has run into opposition in the Texas Legislature, which is considering bills to let state regulators review the sale and force TXU to sell power plants.

KKR and Texas Pacific leaders have protested that the lawmakers are considering changing the rules after they reached an agreement to buy TXU, the largest electric generator in Texas.

TXU directors voted in late February to recommend that shareholders accept the $69.25 per share offer from KKR and Texas Pacific. Besides the $32 billion price tag, KKR and Texas Pacific also agreed to assume about $13 billion in TXU debt.

The investors would put up less than $8 billion in cash and finance $24.6 billion of the sale price by borrowing against TXU, according to regulatory filings.

TXU has until April 16 to solicit bids.

Separately on Monday, KKR announced it has agreed to buy credit-card and payment processor First Data Corp. for about $29 billion -- the second-biggest buyout ever behind the TXU deal.

Shares of TXU fell 30 cents, to $63.80 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Story courtesy of the Associated Press.