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Calpine is said to get offers in Chapter 11

March 29, 2007|From Reuters

Calpine Corp., a power producer operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, has received offers from financial and corporate buyers, including at least one bid for the entire company, according to sources familiar with the situation.

It marks the latest sign of a revival in demand for power-generating companies.

San Jose-based Calpine, which listed more than $26 billion in assets before it filed for bankruptcy in December 2005, invited bidders this year to make offers for part or all of its equity as part of its bankruptcy process and bids were due earlier this month, sources said.

It is still uncertain whether the company, which operates power plants with more than 25,000 megawatts of generating capacity in California, Texas and elsewhere in the U.S., will accept any of the offers as it weighs them as one possible means to emerge from bankruptcy.

A Calpine spokesman declined to comment.

The Carlyle Group, which makes energy investments with its partner Riverstone Holdings, was among the private equity firms interested in Calpine, a source familiar with the deal said, adding that Carlyle had teamed up with power plant owner AES Corp. Carlyle and AES declined to comment.

Sources said that other private equity firms were also interested.

At a hearing this month in U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York, Calpine's lawyers asked for approval for Calpine financial advisor Miller Buckfire to broaden the company's mandate to include the possibility of raising equity financing, according to court documents.

Since Calpine filed for bankruptcy, the company has auctioned numerous assets as part of a plan to sell about 20 power plants, or one-fifth of its total. It is seeking to emerge as a leaner company focused on profitable generating capacity in the core markets of California and Texas.

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