PG&E to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

PG&E Bankruptcy Filing Looming

US wildfires push energy firm PG&E to bankruptcy protection

During her tenure at the helm of the San Francisco-based utility, it accrued more than $30 billion in potential wildfire liabilities, according to analyst estimates.

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".

PG&E shares quickly fell $8.20, to $9.39, in early morning New York Stock Exchange trading. He said in a later interview that the announcement would involve appointments to the California Public Utilities Commission, the state's grid operator and to a commission established by legislature to explore wildfire issues. "We believe John is the right interim leader for the company while we work to identify a new CEO".

PG&E's financial woes have already spread to the companies that supply its natural gas and generate electricity for its customers.

PG&E is reeling from the November Camp fire that swept through the California mountain community of Paradise and killed at least 86 people in the deadliest and most destructive blaze in state history.

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.

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John Simon, who served as PG&E's executive vice president and general counsel, will now be the utility's interim CEO until the board finds a permanent replacement and said the utility's "single most important responsibility" is safety.

The company's board made a decision 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 company said Monday that it has only about $1.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand.

It went on to say that a Chapter 11 reorganisation was the only viable option for meeting these goals. PG&E expects that the Chapter 11 process will, among other things, support the orderly, fair and expeditious resolution of its potential liabilities resulting from the 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires, and will assure the Company has access to the capital and resources it needs to continue to provide safe service to customers.

Advisers said they expect it may take up to two years for the company to emerge from bankruptcy.

Williams was CEO for less than two years, but she had been with PG&E since 2007.

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