PG&E shares plunge on bankruptcy worries

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.

Shares were down more than 18 percent in premarket trading.

This follows Friday’s report by Reuters saying the utility is considering the move for some or all of its businesses.

The utility could be faced with billions of dollars of liabilities from fatal blazes in 2018 and 2017.

Sources said the company could still receive financial help through legislation that would let it pass on to customers costs associated with fire liabilities, staving off a bankruptcy filing.

But that is just a possibility, according to sources contacted by Reuters.


The utility said on Friday it is also looking for new directors for its holding company and its unit Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

PG&E said in November it could face “significant liability” in excess of its insurance coverage if its equipment was found to have caused last year’s fires in northern California.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy once before in 2001.