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December 17, 2012

Edison Mission Energy Files for Bankruptcy Protection



Edison Mission Energy (EME) – an energy producer and seller which provides wind and other kinds of power – has filed for bankruptcy protection.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Edison International, EME (based in Santa Ana, Calif.) filed Chapter 11 documents in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, according to company documents.

EME missed a $97 million interest payment on bonds due in November, and the grace period ends on Monday.The company’s finances are blamed on lower energy prices; higher costs related to coal-fired facilities; and debt maturities.The coal-fired facilities need to be upgraded to meet environmental regulations.

EME has a reorganization plan that was approved by the parent company and the holders of its $3.7 billion debt, according to The Los Angeles Times.

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement, which we believe reflects the long-term value potential of our organization,” Pedro Pizarro, president of Edison Mission Energy, said in a company statement. “This is an important first step in the process to reduce our debt, enhance our liquidity profile and position EME for continued operation and future success."

EME will be “deconsolidated” from Edison International and will be considered “discontinued operations,” The Times said. Also, Edison International’s stake will be transferred to unsecured creditors.

EME has more than $5.1 billion in assets and under $5.1 billion in liabilities. “We believe this financial restructuring — coupled with the existing strength of our employees and assets — will position us to take advantage of new opportunities while preserving our focus on safe, reliable operations,” Pizarro added in a statement.

EME companies own, operate and lease some 43 electric generating sites in the United States that are powered by wind, natural gas, biomass and coal, and an energy marketing and trading operation in Boston. In recent months, EME and US Wind Force, LLC, began building a 23-turbine Pinnacle Wind Farm on Green Mountain near Keyser, W.Va., TMCnet reported.

EME is a holding company which has subsidiaries and affiliates which develop, acquire, own, lease, operate and sell energy and capacity from independent power production facilities, the company said in an online statement. It has fossil-fuel power plants in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Doga, Turkey; a biomass facility in New York; and a diverse portfolio of wind energy projects.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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