Calpine's back, but the protester's not gone


Standard & Poor’s issued a ‘B’ rating to power plant operator Calpine after it emerged from bankruptcy last week, a sign that the company is getting back to business. But that doesn’t mean Robert Strouse is.

Staying put: Calpine shareholder Robert Strouse in front of power company’s Houston offices. (Steve Ueckert / Chronicle)

Strouse is the retired commerical painter from Ohio who took a Greyhound bus to Houston a few weeks ago to protest in front of Calpine’s downtown Houston office.
Strouse bought 5,000 shares of Calpine more than a year before the company went bankrupt and said an investor relations official with the company told him the company wouldn’t “be like Delta” and cancel the stock of existing shareholders. That’s exactly what happened, however, and Strouse is saying he was lied to — which the company denies.
Strouse was still out in front of the Calpine offices Monday and said he plans on sticking around until he gets his money back. Calpine says it will give shareholders like him warrants — the right to buy new Calpine stock but at a price that will likely be higher than market value it begins trading again on the NYSE this week.
Strouse says that’s not good enough. He’s applying for a state identification card and may register as a voter here, he said. And his room at the Downtown YMCA pretty comfortable, too, so…

Categories: General
Tom Fowler

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  1. Mike says:

    Mr. Strouse is to be praised and congratulated. Calpine’s actions in cancelling their stock were dispicable at best. A careful legal investigation should be done into their actions. Besides writing this blog, you should contact your congressman.

  2. Well done, Mr. Strauss. We were all lied to, and we have records in our local San Francisco Bay Area newspapers to prove it.

  3. letterman says:

    Mr. Strouse has more courage than most of us will ever display. He is correct in his quest. All shareholders were told by Calpine officials what to expect but were misled, fooled, and lied to. I was even told by a Calpine employee that all would come out ok. Yeah, right, maybe as an employee but not as a shareholder.

  4. Bill Deckelman says:

    The sale of a partially-completed power plant by Calpine–for twice the expected price– spotlights the gross undervaluation of Calpine that was used to “compensate” stockholders. The plant sold for over twice the value of the whole company (a few days ago), that is, shares outstanding X .20 cents.
    The quick and only solution I see is to put Calpine up for sale. This would show its true value and adequately compensate creditors and stockholders both.
    A court would have to order this. And a court might.

  5. Barbara says:

    Congratulations, Mr. Foster, on having the courage to print this story. I don’t believe Mr. Strouse knows how many small investors he is representing! Calpine’s lies spread all across this country. We’ve been taken advantage of, and the courts don’t care.

  6. Emptycpa77 says:

    Mr. Strouse is one of thousands of shareholders that were lied, and misled by Calpine’s management. Mr. Strouse we support your efforts.
    The CEO of Calpine should be in Jail!