Upping the Ante: PG&E Bondholders Offer $29.2B for Wildfire Victims

Residences leveled by the wildfire line a neighborhood in Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 15, 2018. The massive wildfire killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Raising pressure on Pacific Gas and Electric to pay more money to wildfire victims, a group of bondholders has offered to invest $29.2 billion to settle the embattled utility’s wildfire-related liabilities in exchange for a majority stake in the company.

The latest proposal pitched by an unlikely alliance of wildfire victims and Wall Street hedge funds Wednesday night exceeds the $24 billion offered in the groups’ previous plan and the $18 billion cap on wildfire claims proposed by PG&E.

PG&E denounced the competing plan in a statement, saying it would enrich bondholders, including New York-based investment firm Elliot Management, by entitling them to interest “well in excess of what is required by law” at the expense of PG&E customers.

“This is about Elliott and others attempting to manipulate and profit from the Chapter 11 process,” PG&E spokesman James Noonan said by email.

A hearing on the motion to terminate PG&E’s exclusive right to propose its own bankruptcy plan so that the competing $29.2 billion plan may be considered is scheduled for Oct. 7 in San Francisco.

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