Bankrupt PG&E to take $4.9 billion more charge on wildfire victim claims


PG&E works on power lines to repair damage caused by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 21, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

(Reuters) – PG&E Corp (PCG.N) said on Monday it would take a pretax charge of $4.9 billion in the current quarter related to the settlement of claims from victims of some of most devastating wildfires in California’s modern history.

The bankrupt power producer said on Friday it had reached a $13.5 billion settlement with victims of 2017 and 2018 wildfires.

The company had already taken a $2.5 billion charge in the last quarter for estimated third-party claims related to 2017 wildfires and 2018 Camp fire.

The agreement with the victims announced on Friday was one of the last hurdles for the company to emerge from bankruptcy. It filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, citing potential liabilities in excess of $30 billion from wildfires in 2017 and 2018 linked to its equipment.

PG&E had previously settled for $1 billion with cities, counties and other public entities as well as for $11 billion with insurance carriers related to the wildfires.

Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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