PG&E wholesale unit closes $1.25 billion credit transaction

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Aug. 30, 2001 — The wholesale unit of San Francisco's PG&E Corp. Thursday said a $1.25 billion credit line was oversubscribed.

PG&E National Energy Group (NEG) closed on the $1.25 billion revolving credit facility, a senior, unsecured facility consisting of a $500 million, 2-year tranche and a $750 million, 1-year tranche. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., the unregulated arm of PG&E develops, owns, and operates electric generating and gas pipeline facilities.

Its sister utility company Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is presently operating under bankruptcy protection. NEG is set up as a separate entity with its own credit ratings, and its operations are largely unaffected by the action taken by Pacific Gas & Electric, according to PG&E Corp.

NEG has ownership or leasehold interests in more than 30 operating power plants in 11 states, totaling over 7,000 Mw and has some 5,700 Mw of new generation under construction. The plants are all scheduled to be in operation by 2003.

Development work is under way on four other plants totaling more than 4,000 Mw at sites in New Jersey, Illinois, Nevada, and Oregon. Earlier in the year, PG&E executives said they are planned for operation in 2003 and 2004.

Senior Vice-Pres. John Cooper said the financial package will provide working capital and credit to finance the unit's growth plan. "We are delighted that such a significant group of international financial institutions are participating in this transaction," he said.

J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. led the transaction as lead arranger and bookrunner. Dresdner Bank AG and the Royal Bank of Scotland acted as cosyndication agents. Barclays Bank PLC and Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentale acted as codocumentation agents.

Coarrangers included ABN AMRO Bank NV, Citibank, Credit Lyonnais, DG Bank Deutsche Genossenschaftsbank and Societe Generale. Bank of Montreal, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Union Bank of Switzerland, Fortis Capital, Toronto Dominion, and Fleet National Bank also provided substantial commitments.

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