CABD: San Diego Climate Action founder suggests alternative to Sempra Energy restructuring

June 18, 2018 – CA Business Daily – Angela Underwood reports – San Diego Climate Action Campaign Founder and Executive Director Nicole Capretz has a suggestion for an alternative approach to a recent restructuring proposal for Sempra Energy.

Shareholders Elliott Management Corp. and Bluescape Resources Co. last week called for an overhaul of the company’s board of directors and a review of all of its business operations.

“While we see only clean energy as the future, we do agree that the executive salaries and the rates are too high, and Sempra’s utilities are massive polluters harming public health,” Capretz told California Business Daily.

Capretz questions whether the proposal by Elliott Management and Bluescape is the best option for Sempra’s customers.

“The Southern California community will be better served by a not-for-profit entity through community choice,” Capretz said.

In a letter sent to Sempra’s board and CEO Jeff Martin, Elliott Management and Bluescape encouraged Sempra to implement a two-step plan to overhaul the utility company.

The first step would be replacing six members of Sempra’s board of directors. The second step would be forming a strategic review committee “empowered to conduct full and unfettered ‘no stone unturned’ portfolio and operational reviews aimed at identifying value-creation opportunities for all key stakeholders,” according to a letter the shareholders sent to Sempra’s board and chief executive officer Jeff Martin.

Elliott portfolio manager Jeff Rosenbaum said the necessary changes are not just a matter of simply diverting ratepayers’ monies.

“This isn’t just take money from the ratepayers and turn around and spend it somewhere else,” Rosenbaum told California Business Daily on June 11. “It’s an access to capital that these businesses allow. So these are the types of businesses that have good credit profiles, they’re steady, safe businesses and you can go out and you can get additional capital to do things. So it’s not just a pure siphoning of funds from those businesses into businesses outside those utilities; it’s the actual access to capital. That might be a key nuance.”

Read the full article here.

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