Texas Utilities claims Energy bid would be in the clear

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The Independent Online
Texas Utilities, the Dallas power supplier considering a bid for Energy Group, yesterday pledged that any takeover offer should not meet with opposition from regulators.

Jarrell Gibbs, Texas' deputy chairman, revealed that the group had met with Professor Stephen Littlechild, the electricity regulator, on Monday to put the company's case. A three-way bid battle for Energy Group remains a possibility, after PacifiCorp of the US this week launched a raised pounds 4.06bn bid for the company, which owns Eastern Electricity.

Mr Gibbs said there was no reason why a Texas bid should be referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. PacifiCorp was cleared by the MMC to bid for Energy Group last December. "We will satisfy any of the concerns the MMC expressed and maintain Eastern's credit rating," said Mr Gibbs.

Texas also hit back at claims that the company's environmental record made an MMC referral more likely.

The company is thought to be some way off making a formal bid, which could involve selling its Peabody coal business in the US.