Energy Capital Partners considers buying Calpine

Published 9:42 am, Thursday, July 27, 2017

Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm, is said to be considering the purchase of Houston-based Calpine Corp., one of the largest merchant power companies in the U.S., Bloomberg reported Wednesday night. 

In May, the Wall Street Journal reported that Calpine was searching for a buyer for its multi-billion dollar company, which has the nation’s largest fleet of gas-fired power plants. A spokesman for Calpine would not confirm that the company has been considering a sale, and did not respond immediately to request for comment on Energy Capital Partners’ interest

Calpine will announce its second quarter earnings on Friday. Bloomberg reported that the tentative deal with Energy Capital could be officially announced next week.

Calpine reported a loss of $56 million for the first quarter of 2017, an improvement over last year’s first quarter loss of $198 million.

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Calpine laid off employees in the spring, although a spokesman for the company would not confirm how many people lost their jobs. The layoffs were the result of cutting some departments; some employees volunteered to take a severance package when the company announced it would be making cuts. 

The company, like other merchant power companies around the country, has struggled to profit in recent years as natural gas prices have plunged to record lows and more renewable energy entered the power mix.

For companies like Calpine and NRG Energy, also based in Houston, the struggle to profit has been particularly arduous in Texas, where power generators rely on extreme price spikes during the hot summer months to make their money.

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