Fitch: EME's Bankruptcy Positive for Edison International

  Fitch: EME's Bankruptcy Positive for Edison International  Business Wire  NEW YORK -- March 18, 2014  Bankruptcy court approval of the plan of reorganization (POR) moves Edison International (EIX) closer to a final resolution of its exposure to Edison Mission Energy's (EME) insolvency and, in Fitch Ratings' opinion, represents a positive development for EIX's creditworthiness. On March 11, 2014, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, approved EME's POR, positioning EME to emerge free of liabilities.  From a broader industry perspective, EME's insolvency underscores the challenges facing merchant generators. Among these challenges are Fitch's expectations for a continuation of relatively low power and gas prices, as well as rising costs related to environmental regulations and modest prospective sales growth due to competitive pressures from both energy-use efficiency and renewable generation.  The approved POR incorporates the settlement agreement reached between EME, EIX and certain EME creditors in February 2014. Fitch upgraded EIX's ratings and placed them on Rating Watch Positive on Feb. 21, 2014, in anticipation of bankruptcy court approval of the POR. Fitch expects to resolve the Rating Watch Positive upon closing of the pending sale of certain EME assets to NRG Energy, Inc. and the formation of the new trust contemplated by the settlement agreement.  Under the terms of the POR, EME will remain a subsidiary of EIX, while EIX will assume certain income tax and pension liabilities approximating $350 million and retain certain tax attributes totaling an estimated $1.191 billion. All assets and liabilities of EME that are not assumed by EIX, discharged in bankruptcy or transferred to NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG) under the POR will be transferred to a newly formed trust to be controlled by EME creditors.  The closing of the sale of EME assets to NRG and the settlement transaction is expected to occur around late March or early April 2014. Upon closing, EIX will pay $225 million to the trust. EIX will make two additional payments in September 2015 and 2016 following the final determination of tax attributes to be shared between both EIX and EME's creditors under the terms of the POR. Total payments from EIX to the trust are expected to approximate $635 million, approximately one-half of the value of the tax attributes.  The above article originally appeared as a post on the Fitch Wire credit market commentary page. The original article can be accessed at www.fitchratings.com. All opinions expressed are those of Fitch Ratings.  ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.  Contact:  Fitch Ratings Philip W. Smyth, CFA,+1 212-908-0531 Senior Director Corporate Finance 33 Whitehall Street New York, NY or Rob Rowan,+1 212-908-9159 Senior Director Fitch Wire 1 State Street Plaza New York, NY or Media Relations, New York Brian Bertsch, +1 212-908-0549 brian.bertsch@fitchratings.com  
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.