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California | SOUTHLAND FOCUS

Edison's Cash Reserve Less Than Payments

March 23, 2001|Nancy Rivera Brooks

Southern California Edison's current cash reserve of $1.91 billion is about $722 million less than what it owes in defaulted payments to electricity suppliers and holders of various types of debt, the Rosemead utility said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Among the unpaid bills is an $839.5-million tab with alternative energy providers, many of which have shut down or sharply reduced production because Edison is not paying them. Another $428.6 million in additional obligations will become due by April 30, including $231.4 million to alternative energy producers, Edison said. Edison also noted that it may be required to take an estimated $2.7-billion charge against earnings for its fourth quarter and year-end 2000 if it cannot conclude that regulatory proceedings and negotiations with Gov. Gray Davis would allow it to recover the $4.5 billion in electricity debts it had amassed as of Dec. 31. Shares of parent company Edison International fell 84 cents to close at $11.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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