A federal bankruptcy judge in Chicago has given power wholesaler Edison Mission Energy the go-ahead to emerge from bankruptcy by selling most of its assets to NRG Energy Inc. for $2.6 billion.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jacqueline Cox signed off Tuesday on Santa Ana, Calif.-based Edison Mission's Chapter 11 plan agreed upon last month by the company, corporate parent Edison International and certain creditors.
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Edison Mission will remain an Edison International subsidiary after the $2.64 billion asset sale, which includes several coal-fired power plants along with other wind and natural gas assets in Illinois. The affected electric plants are near Pekin, Joliet, Waukegan and Will County.
Edison Mission Energy and Chicago-based subsidiary Midwest Generation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2012, listing $5.13 billion in assets and $5.1 billion in debt.
Edison Mission blamed its financial troubles then on low power prices, high fuel costs and the need to retrofit coal-fired power plants to meet environmental regulations.
Princeton, N.J.-based NRG Energy said that with the purchase of Edison Mission's assets, NRG becomes the third-biggest U.S.-based generator of renewable energy. NRG said it will have some 53,600 megawatts of total generating capacity.
NRG said the deal is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter, after being approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.