Paul Singer’s Black Knight Unhorses Warren Buffett

They said he couldn’t do it, but the Elliott Management chief found someone to outbid Berkshire. Someone other than himself.
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David Mamet teaches that old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance. But what about the battle between scheming, conniving, pugilistic old age and aww-shucks, folksy, earnest old age? Apparently, the former: As experts shrugged off Paul Singer’s pledge to keep Texas’ largest electric transmission company out of Warren Buffett’s hands and pooh-poohed the chance that he’d be able to raise the $9.3 billion he needed to stop the Oracle of Omaha, he found another way—one that’s even more profitable for him than his own bid.

singer-apocalypse

Sempra Energy, the California-based energy company, said early Monday that it has agreed to buy Energy Future Holdings for about $9.45 billion in cash, seeking to win a battle for the bankrupt power giant that so far has been contested by the billionaires Warren E. Buffett and Paul E. Singer….

A spokesman for Elliott said in a statement that the hedge fund would back Sempra’s offer, arguing that the latest offer “provides substantially greater recoveries to all creditors of Energy Future than the proposed Berkshire transaction.”

Now, Sempra gets to prostrate itself before the Texas Public Utilities Commission, which to date has found all offers for EFH—aside from Berkshire Hathaway’s—wanting. Which means that earnestness may yet have another shot at conniving, with a “third rejected takeover bid” discount.

Sempra Bid Tops Buffett and Singer in Race for Energy Future [DealBook]
Sempra Energy to buy Oncor for $9.45 billion in blow to Berkshire [Reuters]

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