Merrill Lynch's credit sleeve deal with Reliant

In early 2007 Reliant Energy completed a four-year phase of debt reduction and was looking to grow its retail business in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot) region, home to 1.9 million customers. At the same time it hoped to continue eliminating what it called "current restrictive debt covenants" in a bid to enhance its financial flexibility.

Yet Reliant required a solution to various issues. Its credit quality had suffered as a result of its repositioning efforts, while access to