San Francisco makes $2.5 billion offer for PG&E’s electric system in city
The City of San Francisco on Sunday said it has offered $2.5 billion to acquire PG&E Corp.’s electrical lines serving the city, a potential first step toward separating from the giant utility.
The offer escalates San Francisco’s attempt to create a municipal utility that is owned and operated by the city. The city began exploring the possibility of a public takeover after PG&E PCG, -3.50% sought chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, citing more than $30 billion in potential liability costs stemming from its role in sparking deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018.
If the bid is accepted, it could significantly shrink PG&E, removing hundreds of miles of wire and siphoning off hundreds of thousands of customers. It is a public vote of no-confidence in PG&E, which has struggled to prevent its equipment from causing fires amid a sizable increase in wildfire risk in northern California.
Mayor London Breed and City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a written statement that the city’s offer is “competitive, fair and equitable.” They added: “It will offer financial stability for PG&E, while helping the City expand upon our efforts to provide reliable, safe, clean and affordable electricity to the residents and businesses of San Francisco.”
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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