Calpine Corp. considers a sale: report

Houston-based Calpine Corp. is searching for buyers for its multi-billion dollar company, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The company, which has the nation’s largest fleet of gas power plants, is talking to investment bankers about a possible sale, according the unnamed sources in the Wall Street Journal article.

Calpine reported a loss of $56 million for the first quarter of 2017, an improvement over last year’s first quarter loss of $198 million.

During an earnings call in late April, when an analyst asked CEO Thad Hill if the company is open to a sale Hill said that is always an option.

“Look, we’re going to continue to answer this exactly the same way, which is –as I have before and it remains true — if there is somebody out there, whoever it is, a strategic anybody else that values the company a lot more than our shareholders do, we’ll do the right thing,” he said. “But until and unless that ever occurs, our job is to operate, produce the cash, and do what’s right for the shareholders.”

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The company’s profits have struggled in recent months during mild Texas winter and wet year in the West, which produced above-average levels of hydroelectric power. Both the Texas weather and excess hydro-power kept demand from Calpine’s natural-gas fired power plants low.

In late April, Calpine announced  that it cancelled the construction of 418 megawatt natural gas-fired peaking power plant in Texas. Instead of building the plant, Calpine signed a 10 year agreement with the Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, which serves an area north of Victoria, to supply it with 200 megawatts of power from Calpine’s existing Texas power plants.

Calpine came to Houston from California in 2008, following a bankruptcy. It has about 2,000 employees, including around 800 in the Houston area.