Fears grow for $45bn utility as hedges near expiry

The world’s biggest private equity deal is facing rising financial pressure during the next two years with the expiry of contracts that underpinned the takeover of utility TXU.

Investors in the $45bn buyout of the company, now known as Energy Future Holdings, fear a sharp drop in revenue as hedges that protected it from a fall in natural gas prices that are used to determine electricity charges in its home state of Texas progressively expire by 2014.

Since the deal was signed, the US energy industry has been transformed by the application of new drilling techniques to huge deposits of natural gas locked in shale rock formations from Texas to Pennsylvania

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