PG&E shares plunge on bankruptcy worries

PG&E shares plunge on bankruptcy worries

State Senator Jerry Hill, an outspoken PG&E critic, said the utility previously raised bankruptcy as leverage when seeking state assistance in paying its liabilities from wildfires in 2017.

California lawmakers have passed a law that would protect the company from the 2017 fire and fires in 2019 and after but not the 2018 fire.

"We could also lower the ratings by one or more notches if management does not clearly articulate specific steps it will take to preserve credit quality over the long term", S&P said.

PG&E, whose shares have lost almost half of their value since the wildfire, said it is working with a leading search firm to identify new directors and is interviewing several candidates. It now faces billions of dollars in liabilities related to wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

The agency also said it expects PG&E's capital access may be limited to secured debt issuance, restricting its financing options, because of the increased credit risks, and media speculation on a potential bankruptcy.

The company said on Friday that it was reviewing its "structural options" and assessing its operations, finances, management, structure and governance.

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But that is just a possibility, they said. Lawmakers were in talks late past year for legislation to protect the company from liabilities related to the 2018 fires.

PG&E Corp.'s shares were plunging on Monday after sources said the California utility is exploring filing for bankruptcy protection as it fears a big charge in the fourth quarter related to potential liabilities from the deadly California wildfires.

Similarly, State Farm said that PG&E was "failing to keep the power lines, wires, and any and all associated equipment in a safe condition at all times to prevent fires".

Dodd said findings of the regulator showed that the utility and its parent company, PG&E, need "systematic change", including on its board of directors "and in the executive suite", the newspaper had reported.

The San Francisco-based company has lost more than half its market value since the deadliest wildfire in California history broke out in early November, compounding financial woes it was already facing after blazes destroyed parts of wine country a year earlier. Furthermore, The Public Utilities Commission, Cal Fire, and federal prosecutors are all investigating the company as well.

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