PG&E Gives Wildfire Victims More Stock in Bankruptcy Plan

Pacific Gas & Electric, the California utility that is hoping to resolve its bankruptcy filing in the coming weeks, said on Friday that it had agreed to give victims of wildfires caused by its equipment more stock in the company than an earlier agreement had called for.

The deal will leave the roughly 70,000 homeowners and businesses that lost properties to the fires owning 22.19 percent of PG&E’s stock once it settles its bankruptcy, the company said in a securities filing. That is up from the 20 percent agreed to by the company and lawyers representing victims in December.

PG&E had promised to pay victims an estimated $13.5 billion, half in cash and half in stock. But the company’s stock price, which closed Thursday at $11, has fallen nearly 40 percent since early February. Some victims and their lawyers were worried that they would end up with less than the targeted amount.

The new deal comes just days before the United States Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali is expected to give his final approval to PG&E’s plan to resolve its debts. The amended deal on wildfire compensation should help the company secure his assent by putting to rest a festering dispute between the company and the victims.

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