(Bloomberg) – PG & E Corp., the California consumer giant that is facing billions of dollars in wildfire responsibility, can notify employees as soon as Monday that it is preparing a potential bankruptcy declaration, according to people who are familiar with the situation.
PG & E refused to provide a statement, saying that the company does not comment on the rumors or speculation.
A warning could indicate that the company has accelerated plans to present a declaration from Chapter 11 to address the paralyzing liabilities of the fires that crossed California in 2017 and 2018, killing over 100 people and destroying hundreds of thousands of acres. Investigators are checking to see if PG & E equipment ignited the deadliest of fireworks. The company is facing up to $ 30 billion in damages – a prospect that has wiped out two-thirds of the market value of PG & E, plunged its bonds to historic lows and prompted rating firms to reduce debt PG & E with trash.
California passed last year's legislation the aftermath of the deadly fires of Wine Country that required public services to publish public notices to employees at least 15 days before a change of control, including the declaration of bankruptcy.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said at a press conference that his office would make an announcement about PG & E in the coming days and that the problem was at the top of his agenda. In a subsequent interview he stated that the announcement would entail the appointment of the California Public Utilities Commission, the state network operator and a commission established by the legislator to examine issues related to forest fires. Newsom's office did not respond immediately to a request for comment Saturday
The worsening of the financial crisis of PG & E has already extended to companies that supply natural gas and generate electricity for its customers. At least two small gas suppliers have limited sales to PG & E due to concerns that the company will not be able to pay, people with direct knowledge of the situation said at the beginning of this week. Some banks are examining for a long time a potential $ 2 billion loan for the Geysers, the largest geothermal complex in the world, because it provides utility, people familiar with the issue have also said this week.
Thursday, S & P Global Ratings the creditworthiness of 550,000 megawatts of the Topaz Solar Farm of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, noting that the plant relies on PG & E for all its revenues.
People familiar with the PG & E situation said last week that the company is considering bankruptcy within a few weeks.
– With the help of Romy Varghese.
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