Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 06:15

(TNS) — PG&E Corp., struggling to regain control of its destiny as its bankruptcy case enters a pivotal phase, sweetened its offer to Northern California wildfire victims Monday, putting billions of additional dollars on the table to settle claims.

Under increasing pressure from Gov. Gavin Newsom, the utility’s own bondholders and a consortium of municipalities trying to take over the company, PG&E said it would spend an additional $6.6 billion on wildfire claims, a move that could give the troubled utility a greater likelihood of surviving bankruptcy with its business intact.

The new offer puts the total amount earmarked for fire claims at $25.5 billion, according to a filing the company made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That includes previously announced payouts of $11 billion to insurance companies and $1 billion to local governments, leaving $13.5 billion for other claims from the devastating 2017 and 2018 fires.

That appears to match the sum offered by a group of bondholders seeking to seize ownership of PG&E, although advocates for fire victims said it wasn’t clear if the two offers line up exactly.

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