NRG Energy to buy bankrupt Edison Mission Energy

By Jim Polson
Bloomberg News

NRG Energy Inc., the largest independent U.S. electricity producer, agreed to buy most of the assets of Edison International’s bankrupt Edison Mission Energy for $2.64 billion to expand its coal and wind holdings.

The purchase price consists of about 12.7 million NRG shares with the balance to be paid in cash on hand, Princeton, New Jersey-based NRG said today in a statement. It includes about $1.06 billion expected to be on hand at Edison Mission on closing, anticipated in the first quarter of 2014.

Edison Mission operates coal-burning plants with capacity of 4,300 megawatts, enough to power about 3.4 million average homes, based on Energy Department data. It also owns about 1,700 megawatts of wind-driven generation and runs combined heat-and- power plants at refineries owned by Chevron Corp.

“Virtually 100 percent of their assets, their particular expertises and the balance of their technologies deployed complement NRG’s own assets,” NRG Chief Executive Officer David Crane said in the statement.

NRG will assume about $2.1 billion of Edison Mission debt, said Daniel Keyes, a company spokesman. Of that amount, $1.27 billion will be non-recourse to NRG.

Edison Mission Energy plans to ask a bankruptcy judge in Chicago to approve the deal. A hearing is set to occur “on or before” Oct. 25, the statement showed.

NRG rose 6.4 percent to $29.74 at 2:45 p.m. in New York, bringing the increase in the year to date to 29 percent.