This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

TXU Sparks Takeover Talk

This column was originally published on RealMoney on Feb. 26 at 12:00 p.m. EST. It's being republished as a bonus for readers. For more information about subscribing to RealMoney, please click here .

As TXU (TXU) heads to the world of private companies, the utility space will likely be re-energized by talk of more deals, either in private-equity buyouts or public-company mergers.

Such chatter will inevitably occur today, and given the industry's stable nature, the "what-if" exercise is worth considering. However, the complexities of the electric power business make big deals challenging, if not downright difficult.


Utilities have a great profile for private-equity firms: stable cash flow, predictable demand and a captive customer base, to name just three. But they also entail a significant amount of regulatory risk.

Although deregulation of the power business has helped lessen some onerous regulation, most electric-power companies' core businesses remain highly regulated, primarily by state public utilities commissions and, at least to some extent, by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

If you wonder what that means, just ask Constellation Energy (CEG) and FPL Group (FPL). In October, the two companies walked away from a merger that had been in the works for nearly two years because of regulatory hassles. In addition, Exelon (EXC) and Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG) canceled their proposed merger for similar reasons. Of course, some deals have been completed -- such as Duke Energy (DUK) and Cinergy -- but plenty of uncertainty exists when it comes to public utility mergers.

However, private equity's entrance into the mix may present new opportunities. It is too early to determine what type of hurdles the TXU deal will face from regulators, but objections are already being assuaged. The new TXU said this morning that it will lower consumer power rates and significantly reduce its plan to build new coal-fired generation plants.

In addition, the private version of TXU is courting heavy hitters for its board, including former Secretary of State James Baker, former EPA Commissioner William Reilly and former Commerce Secretary Donald Evans. Furthermore, the press release announcing the deal talks up the new company's commitment to the environment and sustainable energy.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs