The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.


All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Goldman's odd loss of Energy

Was Goldman sleeping, did its client just not listen, or was Energy Group simply too clever? After a year of dithering, PacifiCorp let its UK target slip into Texan hands. The only thing that didn't fall through the cracks was the fees for Goldman and the other investment banks. Antony Currie reports.

energy 780px


The day after losing a bidding war with US rival and eventual winner Texas Utilities, Fred Buckman, chairman of PacifiCorp, had a painful conference call with industry analysts and his own shareholders. He tried to explain why he had spent so much time and money - he admitted to between $172 million and $185 million - trying to buy the British-American utility Energy Group, only to pull out at the last minute.

And who would history judge as most responsible for this near-farce? Was it PacifiCorp for dithering and ignoring the advice of its adviser, Goldman Sachs? Was it Goldman for not pushing its client to make deal-clinching moves at the right time? Was it the winning bidder, Texas Utilities, and its advisers, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, who went on the offensive as soon as it got involved at the end of 1997, despite having no regulatory clearances? Or was it Energy Group itself, whose senior executives managed to manoeuvre the various interested parties into securing the highest price possible for the company?

Texas Utilities bid £8.40 a share for Energy Group in early March, 20 pence more than PacifiCorp's highest offer.



You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree