June 4, 2019 / 6:04 PM / 13 days ago

San Francisco city hires adviser to explore potential acquisition of PG&E assets

FILE PHOTO: A PG&E truck carrying an American Flag drives past PG&E repair trucks in Paradise, California, U.S. November 21, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

(Reuters) - The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission said on Tuesday it has hired an adviser to explore the potential acquisition of PG&E Corp’s distribution assets, sending shares of the power company up 2.6% at $18.37.

San Francisco has hired Jefferies LLC as buy-side financial adviser, the utilities commission’s Press Secretary Will Reisman told Reuters in an e-mail statement.

According to a preliminary report released by the commission in May, there are three options for the city, which include the acquisition of PG&E assets in San Francisco to achieve self-sufficiency in power generation.

In the report, the commission also noted that although acquisition of PG&E assets would be a lengthy process, the city’s electric grid could potentially benefit in the long-term.

“It would also lead to more stable rates and more transparency for customers.”

PG&E said it would remain open to communication and is “committed” to working with the city.

“We look forward to reviewing the city’s analysis and appreciate the city’s open and transparent dialogue on the subject,” PG&E said in a statement.

PG&E sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January after facing liabilities of more than $30 billion in the wake of Camp Fire, California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire in recent years.

Reporting by Debroop Roy and Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel

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