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Perry Names Tech Fund Panel Keeping Official of Loss-Making Firm

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Governor Rick Perry named 13 people to the advisory committee of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, including an executive of Energy Future Holdings Corp., a Dallas utility that lost $705 million in the second quarter.

Richard Williams is director of strategy and acquisitions at the energy company and has been on the fund panel since 2009. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University, Perry’s alma mater.

The governor oversees the fund, which has awarded grants of $370 million since 2005 to help companies in Texas develop new technologies. The advisory committee reviews applications for aid. Money awarded by the technology fund must be approved by the governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the lieutenant governor, who leads the Texas Senate.

Energy Future, formerly known as TXU Corp., was sold in 2007 to a group led by KKR & Co. and TPG Capital in the largest-ever leveraged buyout, valued at $43.2 billion. Since then, the company has lost more than $16 billion because of rising interest costs and slumping natural-gas and power prices.

Williams declined comment through Lisa Singleton, an Energy Future spokeswoman who referred questions to Perry’s office.

“Since September 2009, Mr. Williams has been one of 17 members on the advisory committee and the governor appreciates his willingness to continue serving the state in this capacity,” Lucy Nashed said in an e-mailed statement.

The Texas governor is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012.

Among the 12 other people named to the advisory board are lawyers, educators, business executives and investors.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Mildenberg in Austin at dmildenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net.

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