Jul 7, 2017

Warren Buffett nearing deal for electric grid giant Oncor

Tony Gutierrez / AP

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Energy is closing in on a $17.5 billion deal to acquire electric grid giant Oncor, according to the WSJ.

Context: This could pull Oncor out of its parent company's bankruptcy — Energy Future filed for Chapter 11 in 2014 due to falling natural gas prices, in one of the largest-ever corporate bankruptcies.

What's in it for Berkshire Hathaway Energy: It already provides electricity in 18 western and Midwestern states (plus in the UK and Canada), owns renewable generation assets and natural-gas pipelines. If this deal goes through it would connect Berkshire to Oncor's more than 121,000 miles of lines transmitting power in Texas and bring in more steady income, per the FT.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.

The biggest crisis since 1968

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor

The year 1968 has been on a lot of people’s minds lately — another year of protests, violence and upheaval that seemed to be tearing the nation apart.

Yes, but: This crisis also has moments we’ve never seen before — and some historians and experts say the differences suggest that 2020 doesn't compare well at all.

SoftBank to launch $100M fund backing companies led by people of color

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure said in a letter to employees early Wednesday that the firm will create a $100 million fund that "will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color."

Why it matters: The Opportunity Growth Fund is one of the first to put significant capital behind companies' statements of empathy and outrage in response to protests over systemic racism in the U.S. typified by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans by police.