FILE PHOTO: 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/File Photo
(Reuters) – PG&E Corp said on Monday it is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for all of its businesses as it faces potentially crushing liabilities linked to catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018.
The company’s shares tumbled 55 percent in early trading.
PG&E said it planned to file for bankruptcy protection around Jan. 29, and was giving employees a 15-day notice to employees to comply with California law.
PG&E said on Sunday its chief executive officer was leaving down and being replaced by General Counsel John Simon on an interim basis.
The utility holding company said it did not see any impact to electric or natural gas services for its customers as a result of a bankruptcy.
PG&E is reeling from the November Camp fire that swept through the California mountain community of Paradise and killed at least 86 people in the deadliest and most destructive blaze in state history.
PG&E expects the Chapter 11 process will “support the orderly, fair and expeditious resolution of its potential liabilities resulting from the 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires.”
Reporting by Liana B. Baker and Mike Spector in New York; Additional reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Jeffrey Benkoe