Texas Regulators Approve Sempra Energy's Majority Ownership Of Oncor
Mar 8, 2018
SAN DIEGO and DALLAS, March 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor) and Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) announced that the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) today approved an order authorizing the joint Change-in-Control application filed by Oncor and Sempra Energy, representing the last regulatory approval necessary for Sempra Energy to complete its pending acquisition of Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH), including EFH's indirect, approximate 80-percent ownership of Oncor.
"The Public Utility Commission's approval of our application is a significant milestone for both Oncor and Sempra Energy," said Debra L. Reed, chairman, president and CEO of Sempra Energy. "We are pleased the Commission has found our transaction to be in the public interest. Sempra Energy is committed to being a good partner for the state and is supportive of Oncor's mission to provide Texans with safe, reliable and affordable electric service."
"We appreciate the Commission's support throughout this long, four-year process to find a new majority owner for Oncor," said Bob Shapard, CEO of Oncor. "We believe this is an excellent outcome for our company, our customers and our employees. Sempra Energy is a well-run company, and we believe they will be a strong, stable majority owner for Oncor and an excellent partner for Texas."
On Aug. 21, 2017, Sempra Energy entered into an agreement to acquire EFH. Obtaining PUCT approval is a condition necessary to close the transaction. The completion of the transaction remains subject to certain customary closing conditions, but Sempra Energy expects that this transaction will be completed shortly. For more information, go to www.Oncor-Sempra.com.
Headquartered in Dallas, Oncor is a regulated electricity distribution and transmission business that uses superior asset management skills to provide reliable electricity delivery to consumers. Oncor operates the largest distribution and transmission system in Texas, delivering power to more than 3.5 million homes and businesses and operating more than 134,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines in Texas.
Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2017 revenues of more than $11 billion. The Sempra Energy companies' 16,000 employees serve approximately 32 million consumers worldwide.
This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by words such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "contemplates," "assumes," "depends," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "can," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "target," "pursue," "outlook," "maintain," or similar expressions or discussions of guidance, strategies, plans, goals, opportunities, projections, initiatives, objectives or intentions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.
Factors, among others, that could cause our actual results and future actions to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: actions and the timing of actions, including decisions, new regulations, and issuances of permits and other authorizations by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), U.S. Department of Energy, California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, states, cities and counties, and other regulatory and governmental bodies in the United States and other countries in which we operate; the timing and success of business development efforts and construction projects, including risks in obtaining or maintaining permits and other authorizations on a timely basis, risks in completing construction projects on schedule and on budget, and risks in obtaining the consent and participation of partners; the resolution of civil and criminal litigation and regulatory investigations; deviations from regulatory precedent or practice that result in a reallocation of benefits or burdens among shareholders and ratepayers; approvals of proposed settlements or modifications of settlements; delays in, or disallowance or denial of, regulatory agency authorizations to recover costs in rates from customers (including with respect to amounts associated with the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station facility and 2007 wildfires) or regulatory agency approval for projects required to enhance safety and reliability; the greater degree and prevalence of wildfires in California in recent years and risk that we may be found liable for damages regardless of fault, such as in cases where the doctrine of inverse condemnation applies, and risk that we may not be able to recover any such costs in rates from customers in California; the risk that rulings by the CPUC such as denying recovery for wildfire damages may raise our cost of capital and materially impair our ability to finance our operations; the availability of electric power, natural gas and liquefied natural gas, and natural gas pipeline and storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the transmission grid, moratoriums or limitations on the withdrawal or injection of natural gas from or into storage facilities, and equipment failures; changes in energy markets; volatility in commodity prices; moves to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas; the impact on the value of our investments in natural gas storage and related assets from low natural gas prices, low volatility of natural gas prices and the inability to procure favorable long-term contracts for storage services; risks posed by actions of third parties who control the operations of our investments, and risks that our partners or counterparties will be unable or unwilling to fulfill their contractual commitments; weather conditions, natural disasters, accidents, equipment failures, computer system outages, explosions, terrorist attacks and other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of greenhouse gases, radioactive materials and harmful emissions, cause wildfires and subject us to third-party liability for property damage or personal injuries, fines and penalties, some of which may not be covered by insurance (including costs in excess of applicable policy limits), may be disputed by insurers or may otherwise not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of insurance, to the extent that such insurance is available or not prohibitively expensive; cybersecurity threats to the energy grid, storage and pipeline infrastructure, the information and systems used to operate our businesses and the confidentiality of our proprietary information and the personal information of our customers and employees; capital markets and economic conditions, including the availability of credit and the liquidity of our investments; fluctuations in inflation, interest and currency exchange rates and our ability to effectively hedge the risk of such fluctuations; the impact of recent federal tax reform and uncertainty as to how it may be applied, and our ability to mitigate any adverse impacts; actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or those of our subsidiaries or to place those ratings on negative outlook; changes in foreign and domestic trade policies and laws, including border tariffs, and revisions to international trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, that make us less competitive or impair our ability to resolve trade disputes; the ability to win competitively bid infrastructure projects against a number of strong and aggressive competitors; expropriation of assets by foreign governments and title and other property disputes; the impact on reliability of San Diego Gas & Electric Company's (SDG&E) electric transmission and distribution system due to increased amount and variability of power supply from renewable energy sources; the impact on competitive customer rates due to the growth in distributed and local power generation and the corresponding decrease in demand for power delivered through SDG&E's electric transmission and distribution system and from possible departing retail load resulting from customers transferring to Direct Access and Community Choice Aggregation or other forms of distributed and local power generation, and the potential risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets and contractual obligations; and other uncertainties, some of which may be difficult to predict and are beyond our control.
Forward-looking statements also include, statements about the anticipated benefits of the proposed merger involving Sempra Energy, Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH), and EFH's 80.03 percent indirect interest in Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor), including future financial or operating results of Sempra Energy or Oncor, Sempra Energy's, EFH's or Oncor's plans, objectives, expectations or intentions, the anticipated impact of the merger, if consummated, on the credit ratings of Sempra Energy or Oncor, the expected timing of completion of the merger, plans regarding future capital investments by Sempra Energy or Oncor, future return on equity or capital structure of Sempra Energy or Oncor, and other statements that are not historical facts. Additional factors, among others, that could cause our actual results and future actions to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: the risk that Sempra Energy, EFH or Oncor may be unable to satisfy all closing conditions required for the merger; the risk that the merger may not be completed for other reasons, or may not be completed on the terms or timing currently contemplated; the risk that the anticipated benefits from the merger may not be fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected and that liabilities that survive the bankruptcy will be greater than we anticipate; the risk that Sempra Energy may be unable to obtain, additional permanent equity financing for the merger on favorable terms; the risk that indebtedness Sempra Energy incurs in connection with the merger may make it more difficult for Sempra Energy to repay or refinance its debt or take other actions, which may decrease business flexibility and increase borrowing costs; the diversion of management time and attention to merger-related issues; merger-related costs, whether or not the merger is completed, as well as disruptions to our business; and the risk that Oncor will eliminate or reduce its quarterly dividends due to its requirement to meet and maintain its new regulatory capital structure, or because any of the three major credit rating agencies rates Oncor's senior secured debt securities below BBB (or the equivalent) or Oncor's independent directors or a minority member director determine it is in the best interest of Oncor to retain such amounts to meet future capital expenditures.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra Energy has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forecasts or projections or other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Sempra South American Utilities, Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra LNG & Midstream, Sempra Renewables, Sempra Mexico and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.B. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same as the California Utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) or Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.
SOURCE Sempra Energy
For further information: Media Contacts: Doug Kline/Amber Albrecht, Sempra Energy, (877) 340-8875, www.sempra.com, Geoffrey Bailey, Oncor (Communications), (877) 426-1616, www.oncor.com, Financial Contacts: Patrick Billings, Sempra Energy, (877) 736-7727, email@example.com, Sarah Soong, Oncor (Investor Relations), (214) 486-4776, www.oncor.com