NorCal Wildfire Victims and PG&E Bondholders Propose Their Own Bankruptcy Exit Plan

Pacific Gas and Electric crews repair power lines in Paradise that were destroyed by the Camp Fire, Nov. 21, 2018. (Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Pacific Gas and Electric crews repair power lines in Paradise that were destroyed by the Camp Fire, Nov. 21, 2018. (Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. bondholders and wildfire victims have joined forces and proposed their own reorganization plan as they try to wrest control of the bankrupt company from its stockholders.

The two groups told PG&E’s bankruptcy judge Thursday their proposal would include a $24 billion settlement to pay everyone owed money because of fires started by the company’s power lines in recent years, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

PG&E has offered to pay individual victims from a trust capped at $8.4 billion and reached settlements with insurers and local governments of $11 billion and $1 billion, respectively.

The bondholders’ proposal would invest $28.4 billion in exchange for a 58.8% stake in the utility’s parent PG&E Corp., diluting the firms who currently own shares of the company. The investment would fund creation of a $24 billion trust, in cash and stock, to pay claims from various fires in which the company was involved.

The trust would be acceptable to wildfire victims because they would designate someone to “manage the process,” attorneys for the committees of wildfire victims and bondholders involved in the PG&E case said in their joint filing.

In an email, PG&E spokesman James Noonan noted the two settlements the company has already reached with parties in the bankruptcy case and said the company is “committed to working with the remaining individual plaintiffs to fairly and reasonably resolve their claims.”

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