California’s Largest Utility Plans Bankruptcy As CEO Makes For The Exit

Lloyd Doyle
January 14, 2019

PG&E said Monday that it's given the required 15-day advance notice that it plans to file for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection.

Bloomberg reported Saturday that the utility, facing billions of dollars in wildfire liabilities, could notify staff of a potential bankruptcy filing as soon as Monday, citing sources familiar with the situation.

"While we are making progress as a company in safety and other areas, the Board recognizes the tremendous challenges PG&E continues to face", said Board Chair Richard Kelly, in a statement. Still, the utility vowed to provide "safe natural gas and electric service to customers." . "PG&E remains committed to assisting the communities affected by wildfires in Northern California, and its restoration and rebuilding efforts will continue".

The full press release from PG&E can be found on its website.

PG&E said it is in discussions with lenders about receiving roughly $5.5 billion in debtor-in-possession financing to help it operate while navigating through bankruptcy.

The company, which has 20,000 employees, has assured its customers it expects to continue supplying power "without disruption".

PG&E's general counsel John Simon will serve as interim CEO until the board of directors finds a new head.

A new state law passed a year ago requires the company to give its employees a 15-day notice of such action.

The company has seen two-thirds of its market value wiped out since November's Camp Fire - the deadliest wildfire in California's history.

The company's board chose to oust CEO Geisha Williams and undergo a restructuring at a board meeting this weekend in San Francisco, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The 150-year-old company said: "We recognise that the devastating and unprecedented Northern California wildfires of 2017 and 2018 have had a profound impact on our customers and their communities". The Camp Fire killed 86 people and all but destroyed the town of Paradise.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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