The biggest turkeys of 2013

It's that time of the year when we look back and reflect on some of the worst business decisions of this annum.

TXU buyout

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In 2007 three of the smartest outfits on Wall Street -- Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500), Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR, Fortune 500), and Texas Pacific Group -- combined to pull off a $48 billion leveraged buyout of the former Texas Utilities, the biggest going-private transaction in the history of the world. Oops. The deal started going bad about two seconds after it closed because the price of natural gas fell, making TXU's coal-fired plants less competitive. Even Warren Buffett got suckered into this turkey, buying $2 billion of beaten-down bonds and betting on a turnaround that never came. The company is now in bankruptcy talks. I especially love the grand new name the buyout barons gave TXU: Energy Future Holdings. Too bad they had no idea what the future held.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated November 21 2013 01:33 PM ET
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