By now you've probably heard that Credit Suisse is reportedly offering to finance $40.2 billion to fund a competing offer for TXU, the Texas-based energy group which this week agreed to be bought by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Texas Pacific Group.
The Financial Times broke the story, following it's lead-off sentence announcing the offer with this little bit of understatement:
The Swiss bank's willingness to arrange the massive financing will eliminate a key financial obstacle to several private equity groups, including Blackstone and Carlyle, that are considering a rival offer.
That key financial obstacle being, uhm, having $40 billion to throw around. Cause we were going to pick up TXU until we saw the price-tag. We're pretty well set with money these days but $40 billion is a bit steep even after that generous bonus DealBreaker paid out to its editors. So we decided to pass. But now that we know you can put it on lay-away, well that changes things.
So who wants to be a forty-billionaire? No-one, apparently.
Reuters reports from that big private equity conference in Germany:
The Blackstone Group has no interest in putting together a rival bid for TXU, but it would consider an equity investment in TXU if the current buyout team needed an extra equity partner before the deal closed, the source said.
Isn't it totally amazing that someone in the government's antitrust department might think these guys are colluding together and not competing to outbid each other on big deals. Sure, they all hang out in Germany and trade plans for the future. And no-one seems willing to grab the $40 billion that Credit Suisse has just dumped out on the table. But "collusion?" That's stretching things.
And it's not suspicious at all that Blackstone doesn't want to put in a counter bid. It's a lot of money, and Blackstone is noted for it's conservative spending on acquisitions. Oh, wait…
So maybe Blackstone just doesn't want to get into the Texas energy business. That must be it, right?
Asked earlier about the TXU deal, Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman told Reuters "We'll look at it if someone brings it to us," speaking on the sidelines of the annual Super Return private equity conference, without clarifying further.
The source explained that Blackstone would consider an equity stake, but not a counter-bid.
So, you know, if Blackstone were invited into the club buying TXU they'd totally do it. But bidding against KKR and TPG? That would totally ruin the atmosphere of that big party they're having in Germany.
Credit Suisse offers to fund rival TXU bid [Financial Times via MSNBC]
Blackstone unlikely to launch rival TXU bid-source