09/15/2019

Hostile Takeover Of PG&E? Billion-Dollar Hedge Funds Duel Over Bankrupt Utility

Two groups of multibillion-dollar hedge funds are fighting over control of PG&E Corp. in a battle with huge implications for California’s largest electric utility and the thousands of wildfire victims who hold claims against the bankrupt company.

What had been a quiet tug-of-war turned into a hostile takeover battle late Wednesday. PG&E’s major bondholders, in a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, said they’re seeking to buy 85 percent of the utility’s stock for $19 billion. The effort is part of a larger reorganization proposal that would include paying billions to victims of the 2017 and 2018 wildfires.

“They want to own the company essentially,” said Michael Wara, director of Stanford University’s Climate and Energy Policy Program and an advisor to the state Senate on wildfire issues.

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