The approval was part of the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware’s clearance to last month’s merger agreement made by the American natural gas utilities company Sempra Energy with Energy Future.

Oncor and Sempra Energy are likely to seek regulatory approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas next month for their all-cash transaction.

Apart from that, the merger agreement will be based on meeting of other customary closing conditions like further approvals by the Bankruptcy Court, the US Department of Justice under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Sempra Energy chairman, president and CEO Debra L. Reed said: “Oncor is a well-managed, top-tier utility, operating in one of the strongest U.S. growth markets.

“We believe it will be an excellent strategic fit with our portfolio of utility and energy infrastructure businesses, while opening up a new avenue for our long-term growth.”

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of next year.

In another development, the Bankruptcy Court also approved the plan support agreement of Oncor’s debtors with Sempra Energy and certain affiliates of Elliott Capital Management.

As per the plan support agreement, the debtors and activist hedge fund Elliott will take all necessary action that is reasonable enough to execute the merger agreement.

Elliott has also agreed to back the Sempra deal and to vote its claims to accept the plan.

The Bankruptcy Court, in a separate order, also authorized the debtors to obtain votes on the plan.

Last month, Berkshire Hathaway Energy had terminated its proposal to acquire Energy Future and Oncor for nearly $18.1bn.

Image: Sempra’s proposal to acquire Oncor has been approved by a bankruptcy court. Photo: courtesy of sirirakphotos/