LONDON — Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which has been struggling with a financial crisis stemming from California’s historic wildfires, intends to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the end of the month, according to a regulatory filing.
The company, which is the largest investor-owned utility in California, said it faced an estimated $30 billion liability for damages from the 2017 and 2018 wildfires that killed scores in Northern California, a sum that would exceed its insurance and assets.
The company said on Sunday that it was looking for a new chief executive to replace Geisha Williams, who has been in the job since 2017. John Simon, the company’s general counsel, is serving as the interim chief executive.
The company’s stock price plunged 53 percent in premarket trading on Monday.
PG&E’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said that filing for bankruptcy was “ultimately the only viable option to restore PG&E’s financial stability to fund ongoing operations and provide safe service to customers.”
Fire investigators had determined that PG&E’s equipment was responsible for at least 18 of 21 major fires in 2017 as well as fires in 2018.
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