California utility PG&E explores bankruptcy filing

A PG&E truck carrying an American Flag drives past PG&E repair trucks in Paradise

A PG&E truck carrying an American Flag drives past PG&E repair trucks in Paradise California

The utility is considering the move for some or all of its businesses, Reuters reported on Friday.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, called Cal Fire, is investigating PG&E wires as a possible source of the blaze.

And Daniel Ford of UBS Group AG on Monday raised his 12-month price target for PG&E to US$29 from US$26, based on recent disclosures by the company asserting it is not responsible for the 2017 Tubbs fire, the second-most destructive in state history.

Shares of California utility PG&E tumbled Monday, because investors are anxious it may go bankrupt. The filing isn't certain, the people said, but it may be enough to force the hand of state legislators who could come up with a rescue package.

Three major insurance companies have filed a Camp Fire lawsuit against PG&E as a result of the billions of dollars in claims they are expecting. The company could be engaged in similar brinkmanship now, he said.

The Camp Fire broke out on the morning of November 8 near the mountain community of Paradise, sweeping through the town and killing at least 86 people, in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history. The federal judge is overseeing PG&E's probation involving the 2010 San Bruno, California, gas line explosion. Those bonds will help pay for damages tied to deadly California wildfires in October 2017 caused by faulty PG&E equipment.

Reuters reported a year ago that the company was working with bankruptcy advisors.

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Bankruptcy "should be considered a credible risk by shareholders", they said.

"While we think that sufficient support for such a bill could eventually be rallied, exploitive tactics and a reticence toward change will not improve PCG's public profile and will not significantly accelerate the process for legislation", the two analysts wrote, referring to the company's ticker.

PG&E announced the assessment of its finances in a news release that did not elaborate on any potential plans.

A bankruptcy filing is not PG&E's preference for addressing liabilities from the catastrophic blazes, some of the sources said.

Late Friday, PG&E said that it's looking to shake up its board of directors, using a search firm to identify new board members with a "fresh perspective" as it looks to beef up its fire safety protocols.

But that is just a possibility, they said. "We recognize the need to balance the interests of many stakeholders while maintaining safe, reliable and affordable services for our customers, which is always our top priority", the company said in a statement.

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