Bill Gates’ Energy Co. Files For Bankruptcy

Bill Gates’ Energy Co. Files For Bankruptcy

Tyler Durden on 02/14/2014 13:00 -0500

Submitted by Charles Kennedy via OilPrice.com,

Bill Gates’ Texas energy company has filed for bankruptcy protection as the depressed power market results in untenable financial losses.

The company, Optim Energy (EnergyCo LLC), owned by a Gates investment fund, filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy papers on Wednesday for its three power plants in eastern Texas, citing their inability to counter growing losses in the current market.

“The current depressed economic environment of the electric power industry – particularly with respect to coal-fired plants – and the debtors’ liquidity constraints have resulted in continuing losses that, simply put, have left the debtors without alternatives,” media quoted Optim CEO Nick Rahn as saying in court documents.

According to the documents, Optim has $713 million outstanding under a credit agreement with Wells Fargo, while its total estimated assets are worth less than $500 million. For 2013, Optim recorded revenues of $236 million.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Optim said its executives had failed to obtain consent to borrow more money under a credit facility.

Optim is reportedly planning to sell its coal-fired Twin Oaks plant during the bankruptcy, while the other two plants natural-gas fired.

Optim was founded in 2007, and electricity prices began to fall shortly afterwards, hindering the company’s ability to repay borrowed money.

Reductions in natural gas prices have hit power companies hard over the past several years, and Optim is the third to file for bankruptcy recently, following Dynegy Inc and Edison Mission Energy.

Optim notes in its court filings that the price of electricity in the company’s market area has fallen roughly 40% in the past five years, from around $63.24 per megawatt hour in 2008 to around $38 per megawatt hour by December 2013.

Optim’s owner, ECJV Holdings LLC, is owned by Cascade Investment LLC, an investment vehicle for Gates, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder and the world’s richest person, according to Bloomberg.

 

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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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