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Creditors of bankrupt Pacific Gas & Electric Co. overwhelmingly favor the company’s own plan of reorganization over a rival plan filed by the California Public Utilities Commission. That’s the result of the vote tally for the two competing plans, filed Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. PG&E’s plan was endorsed by nine out of a possible 10 creditor classes, while the CPUC’s plan received only one vote from its potential pool of eight creditor classes. Both plans will proceed to confirmation hearings slated for November, since a plan need only garner a single vote to be confirmable. But the results make it clear where creditors stand on the issue. “The PUC believes that today’s vote reflects the results of PG&E’s misleading campaign to solicit votes for its plan and against the PUC’s original plan,” said a statement released by the commission. The PUC has asked the bankruptcy court to order a revote, based on an amended plan it filed at the end of August, which boasts the official committee of unsecured creditors as a co-proponent. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Sept. 20. “The PUC is confident that a resolicitation will result in strong support for the amended plan, which incorporates significant changes agreed to with the committee,” said the CPUC’s statement. But PG&E played down the significance of this amended, creditor committee-approved plan, since the creditors’ committee urged voters to approve both plans in the most recent vote, and the PG&E plan still won the vast majority of the votes. “This vote is a rejection by creditors of the recommendation of the official creditors’ committee,” said a PG&E statement. The two competing reorganization plans were mailed out to creditors in June. Creditors could vote to support one or both plans. The PG&E plan proposes to divide the utility into four separate companies, three of them under federal, not state, regulation. The PUC’s rival plan keeps the utility intact while raising money through a combination of debt and equity offerings. Both plans propose to pay creditors in full. This is the second victory for PG&E in the past few weeks. At the end of August, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that federal bankruptcy law expressly allowed PG&E to sidestep state regulations in order to emerge from bankruptcy. “This outcome is an important vote of confidence that our plan will resolve creditor claims, in a financially feasible manner, without seeking a bailout from customers,” said the PG&E statement.

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