Monday, February 26, 2007

A Buyout Deal That Has Many Shades of Green

TXU, the Texas energy giant, announced Monday it had agreed to be taken private by a group of investors led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Texas Pacific Group in what would be the largest leveraged buyout in history. The deal was remarkable not only for its size but for the role that environmentalists played in the negotiations, which were first reported Friday evening. To secure the support of these groups, the bidding consortium has agreed to scale back significantly on TXU's controversial plan to build 11 new coal plants.
The record-breaking deal comes amid a resurgence for Henry Kravis, a co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and one of Wall Street's oldest masters. His firm is near completion of a $16 billion fund, and last year it became the first of the giant buyout firms to list shares of a fund to raise money, $5 billion to be specific, from smaller investors. "He is the Roger Clemens of the industry," James B. Lee Jr., vice chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase, told The New York Times. "He was a winner when he was 20 years old, and he is winner in his 60s."
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