By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
NEW YORK, March 1 () - PG&E Corp investor BlueMountain Capital Management LLC on Friday named 13 people it hopes to install as directors at the embattled utility owner weeks after the company filed for bankruptcy in the wake of California's catastrophic wildfires.
The hedge fund's group of director nominees includes an expert in resolving victim claims, a former treasurer of the state of California, a prominent hedge fund manager, and people with banking and energy industry expertise.
The company and the hedge fund have been talking and last week agreed to extended the deadline to nominate directors to Friday. The hedge fund, which interviewed 60 people for its slate, said it wants other shareholders and the people of California to "understand the high caliber of the candidates willing to serve on the Board."
The slate includes former California Treasurer Phil Angelides who chaired the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to uncover the causes of the financial crisis and lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, known for administering compensation to victims including those of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Christopher Hart, a former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, Jeffrey Ubben, who founded $15 billionSan Francisco-based hedge fund ValueAct Capital and is now focusing on sustainability, and clean energy expert David Crane, a former chief executive at NRG Energy, are also on the list.
California business and civic leaders Marjorie Bowen, a former Houlihan Lokey banker, and Alvaro Aguirre, a former banker and lawyer who has managed several corporate turnarounds, were also named.
PG&E previously promised to make board changes, saying that only five of its current board members would stand for re-election at the May 21 annual meeting.
By offering to refresh its own board, the company could be trying to curry favor with big investors who may not be ready to back the hedge fund's slate, analysts said.
With a new board and fresh oversight, the hedge fund forecast that the company's share price could trade at $50 in the future. It closed at $17.03 on Thursday.
PG&E faces crushing liabilities related to deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018 that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes.
The complete slate includes Phil Angelides, Kenneth Feinberg, Christopher Hart, Fred Buckman, Donald Chappel, David Crane, Tanuja Dehne, Dick Rosenblum, Alvaro Aguirre, Marjorie Bowen, Mark Lerdal, Barbara Lloyd, and Jeffrey Ubben.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.