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Energy Future Asks to Take Part in Optim Asset Auction

Energy Future Holdings Corp. asked for court permission to take part in an auction of assets by another bankrupt Texas power producer, Optim Energy LLC.

The assets are in Bremond, Texas, Energy Future said in a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Energy Future seeks court approval for its competitive unit to make a bid and complete the purchase if it wins.

Energy Future needs “new, strategic market opportunities” to compete in the electricity business, the Dallas-based company told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi in yesterday’s filing.

Optim’s current bidder offered $60 million and doesn’t intend to complete the deal, Energy Future said. A Blackstone Group LP affiliate has bid for Optim’s coal-fired unit. Optim, which also owns two natural-gas-fired power plants, is owned by Cascade Investments LLC, an investment vehicle for Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates.

Energy Future, after adding $48 billion in debt seven years ago to go private with KKR & Co., TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, filed for bankruptcy in April as power prices dropped. Its former owners’ stake will be cut to less than 1 percent under a proposed restructuring plan.

The Energy Future bankruptcy case is Energy Future Holdings Corp., 14-bk-10979, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington). The Optim case is In re Optim Energy LLC, 14-bk-10262, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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