GenOn, a subsidiary of NRG Energy Inc., filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, June 14 after reach-ing an agreement with its bondholders to eliminate $1.75 billion of its debt and restructure itself as a standalone company.
A securities filing, made after the company reached a debt structuring agreement in May, re-vealed information regarding GenOn’s bankruptcy filing and current financial state. With many similar wholesale power companies struggling with low electricity prices, bankruptcy filings across the industry are becoming more common.
NRG is the largest independent power provider in the United States. In February, it appointed a pair of new directors and agreed to a deal with Elliott Management and Bluescape Energy Part-ners to sell off some assets and cut costs. The two funds now own a 9.4 percent stake in NRG.
This bankruptcy filing will transfer ownership of GenOn to the senior noteholders of the compa-ny and away from NRG. GenOn currently operates 32 power plants across eight states, with a total production capacity of about 15,394 megawatts. About two-thirds of this power comes from natural gas sources. Cheap natural gas found in shale fields has brought down the prices of electricity in recent years, which has shrunk margins for wholesale power generation companies that rely on natural gas.
The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico continues to hang on the brink of bankruptcy as it continues to struggle with massive amounts of debt. A federal judge is now overseeing a form of bankruptcy for the territory, which owes more than $74 billion to creditors in the United States, along with more than $40 billion in pension liabilities.
This has been a tough year for retailers. As of June, more than 300 have filed for bankruptcy, up 31 percent from the same period in 2016. While most of those filings were made by small busi-nesses with a single location, there are plenty of household names that have also filed for bank-ruptcy so far in 2017.
In most cases, the leading cause is the continued shift of consumers from traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts to a greater reliance on online shopping. Most of the companies filed for Chap-ter 11 bankruptcy, which means they will be able to continue operating while restructuring their debts. Still, the retail industry is on track for a record number of closed stores in a single year.
The retailer currently has more than $1.4 billion in debt, and looks to eliminate $900 million from that total figure. The company will close at least 375—and up to 450—of its 1,281 stores across the country to “right size” its current brick-and-mortar operations. CEO Daniel Griesemer, who took the position approximately a month ago, said the moves the company is making will allow it to address its debt while also maintaining a focus on future operations and continuing to execute its main goals.
Bankruptcy exemptions are key considerations in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases. These exemptions allow you to keep a certain amount of your assets protected from your creditors. These exemptions can only protect certain types of property, such as a motor vehicle. Your attorney needs to analyze the available exemptions for the applicable state.