EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
HONORED FOR INNOVATIVE MERCHANT GENERATION FINANCING
Bethesda, Md.– PG&E Corporation
(NYSE:PCG) executed the best project finance deal in North America
last year, according to Global Finance magazine, which highlighted
the transaction in its February 2000 issue.
The landmark financing,
for the Lake Road merchant power plant, was also recognized as among
the year’s best in recent issues of Asset Finance International
and Corporate Finance magazines. All three publications cited the
groundbreaking and innovative structure of the transaction, and
the benefits it provides to the company, as cause for its honors.
Global Finance featured
the transaction in its "The Best Deals of 1999" issue. In late 1999,
the project was honored as the best U.S. asset finance power deal
of the year by Asset Finance International and was honored
among only three project finance deals by Corporate Finance.
"PG&E Corporation is pursuing
an aggressive strategy for growth in the competitive power business,
a major portion of which is the more than 10,000 megawatts of new
generation we currently have in development or construction," said
Thomas G. Boren, executive vice president of PG&E Corp. and president
and CEO of the Corporation’s National Energy Group. "Our excellence
in project finance -- as proven again by our Lake Road financing
-- will be critical in helping us to realize our growth objectives
and optimize the earnings from this portfolio over the long term."
The 792-megawatt Lake Road
Generating Plant, located in Killingly, Conn., is one of three merchant
facilities currently under construction by PG&E Corporation. The
Corporation expects to bring as many as 5,000 megawatts of additional
merchant generation online within the next few years.
The financing for the Lake
Road Generating Plant was structured as a project-financed synthetic
lease, using a special securitized commercial paper facility. This
combination of facilities is a first-of-its-kind arrangement in
the bank market.
"From merchant plant financing
and using a synthetic lease, to a 50-percent equity commitment being
funded through the securitized commercial paper facility, this is
a transaction unlike any out there," added John R. Cooper, senior
vice president and chief financial officer for PG&E Corporation’s
competitive generation unit.
The transaction’s lead arranger
was Citibank. The arranger and co-arranger were Société Générale
and Deutsche Bank, respectively. There were 17 additional lenders,
contributing to an over subscription in syndication.
Global Finance, with a circulation
of more than 50,000, reaches top-level executives and decision-makers
in the financial community. It is published by Global Finance Media,
Inc. in New York, N.Y. Asset Financial International has
a circulation of 6,000, one of the highest among the niche asset
finance and leasing industry. Corporate Finance has a circulation
of 60,000. Both are published by Euromoney Institutional Investor,
PLC based in London, England.
PG&E Corporation, with revenues
of more than $20 billion and operations in 27 states, markets energy
services and products throughout North America through its National
Energy Group. PG&E Corporation's businesses also include Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the Northern and Central California utility
that deliver natural gas and electricity to one in every 20 Americans.