PG&E prepares to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

PG&E prepares to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
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 -
Elijah Nouvelage(Reuters)
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(Reuters) - PG&E Corp said on Monday it is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for all of its businesses, as the company faces pressure from potentially crushing liabilities linked to catastrophic wildfires.

The company shares tumbled 55 percent in early trading.

PG&E, whose chief executive officer stepped down on Sunday, said it does not see any impact to electric or natural gas services for its customers as a result of the bankruptcy.

PG&E is reeling from the November Camp fire that began in the California mountain community of Paradise and swept through the town, eventually killing at least 86 people in the deadliest and most destructive blaze in state history.

The company faces widespread litigation, government investigations and liabilities that could potentially reach $30 billion, according to analyst estimates, when accounting for the carnage and damage from last year's fire and blazes in 2017.

The company is under pressure from the California Public Utilities Commission to make operational changes. The power provider announced on Jan. 3 that it was reviewing its structural options and looking for new directors with safety experience.

(Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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