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Dynegy Inc.
Traded as NYSEDYN
Industry Energy (Electrical power industry)
Founded 1984
Headquarters Houston, Texas, United States
Area served
USA (8 states)[1]
Key people
Robert C. Flexon, President and CEO

Mario E. Alonso, Executive VP, Strategic Development

Carolyn J. Burke, Executive VP, Business Operations and Systems

Catherine B. Callaway, Executive VP, General Counsel and CCO

Julius Cox, Executive VP and CAO

Martin W. Daley, Executive VP-Plant Operations, Gas

Clint C. Freeland, Executive VP and CFO

Henry D. Jones, Executive VP and Chief Commercial Officer

Sheree M. Petrone, Executive VP, Retail

Daniel P. Thompson, Executive Vice President-Plant Operations, Coal

Products Electricity generation
601 Travis houses the headquarters of Dynegy

Dynegy is an energy company headquartered at 601 Travis Street in Downtown Houston.[3] The company generates electricity for the homes of nearly 21 million families across the Midwest, Northeast, and West Coast.

The company operates 35 power generation facilities in eight states producing almost 26,000 megawatts electricity. Dynegy serves residential, municipal, commercial, and industrial customers through its Homefield Energy and Dynegy Energy Services retail providers in Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Wells Fargo Plaza in Houston, the headquarters of Dynegy as of 2011. The company moved out in 2012.

Pre-Dynegy years[edit]

1984: A group of pipeline companies start Natural Gas Clearinghouse (NGC), a natural gas supplies energy brokerage. Impressed by NGC's early success, Morgan Stanley gains a majority stake in the company the following year.[4]

Transco Tower (now known as Williams Tower) in Houston, the original headquarters of Dynegy in 1984.

1986: Assets grow to $550 million, with $525 million in long-term debt.[5] NGC Corporation enters electrical generation and establishes Electric Clearinghouse to sell it and the Energy Store to market it.

1989: Noble Affiliates, Inc. and Apache Corporation buy NCG for a reported $50 million.[6]

1993: NGC becomes the largest U.S. independent natural gas marketing firm in NGC with more than $2 billion in revenues.[7]

1994: NGC merges with Trident NGL and enters the power generation business.[8] It establishes partnerships with Nova (Canadian-based Novagas Clearinghouse) and British Gas, giving both companies financial stake in NGC.[9]

1995: The company's name is shortened to NGC Corporation and it becomes publicly traded.[10]

1996: NGC Corporation purchases Chevron Corporation's natural gas operations,[11] giving Chevron a 29 percent stake in Dynegy.[12] NGC buys Destec Energy and its 20 domestic, gas-fueled plants for $1.27 billion, selling off Destec's non-U.S. subsidiaries for $407 million as part of the agreement.[11]

A new name: Dynegy[edit]

1998: NGC Corporation changes its name to Dynegy, Inc., with the original slogan "We believe in people."[13]

1999: Dynegy buys Illinova Corporation for $1.75 billion and assumes $2.25 billion in debt. Nova and British Gas sell their stakes.[12]

2000: Dynegy branches outside of energy to buy Extant Inc. for $152.5 million, a broadband provider building a nationwide fiber optic network.[14]

October 2001: Dynegy attempts a white knight, $8 billion takeover of Enron, a company saddled with $13 billion in debt and with a stock that had plummeted.[15]

November 2001: Dynegy pulls its merger offer as the Enron scandal unfolds and reveals even larger financial losses and debt than previously reported.[16][17]

December 2001: Enron declares bankruptcy and sues Dynegy the next day.[18] The suit is settled in August of the following year when Dynegy agrees to pay $25 million for backing out of the deal.[19]


January 2002: Dynegy begins the year by successfully acquiring Enron's most lucrative asset, Northern Natural Gas Company pipeline.[20] It served as collateral in return for Enron receiving Dynegy financing during merger talks.[21][21]

April 2002: Pressures on energy stocks following Enron's collapse push Dynegy's shares down 42 percent. The company also admits a large fuel contract accounting error, further depressing the stock 22 percent. Moody's Investors Service announces a review of Dynegy's $4 billion in debt.[22] Dynegy successfully applies for a $900 million line of credit.[23]

May 2002: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigates Dynegy for inflated income reports and illegal business partnerships to avoid income.[24] It's alleged that in January 2000, Dynegy's Illinova subsidiary formed Catlin, a joint partnership with little-known investment company, Black Thunder. Catlin took over some of Illinova's generation assets. Black Thunder invested almost 90 percent of the money to form Catlin, but Dynegy was required to buy out Black Thunder's investment or sell off the assets if a specified high rate of return wasn't earned.[25] On May 28, Dynegy founder, president, and CEO Charles Watson resigns [26] and Dynegy Inc. chairman Dan Dienstbier is named interim CEO.[27]

June 2002: Dynegy reports Q1 income is down 80 percent and that it charged future income from long-term power contracts to that year's revenue.[28] Dynegy's CFO Rob Doty resigns and the company shuts down its online energy trading system.[29][30] Dynegy attempts to raise $2 billion by selling off assets to avoid bankruptcy.[31] Moody's downgrades the company's bond rating to "junk".[32]

July 2002: Following Dynegy's announcement it might need a financial partner to stabilize, the company's stock drops 64 percent.[27] Dynegy stays out of bankruptcy by selling the Northern Natural Gas Company to MidAmerican Energy Holdings for $928 million, $572 million less than what it was purchased for.[33][34]

August 2002: Former Dynegy financial officer Bradley Farnsworth sues the company, saying he was fired after refusing to manipulate financial statements.[35] The company suspends its dividend.[36]

September 2002: Interim chairman Glenn Tilton leaves Dynegy to become United Airlines' CEO.[37] Dynegy pays a $3 million fine for hiding losses and taxable income and admits to phony natural gas and electricity trades designed to mislead about the online trading operation.[38] The company later fires five traders and pays a $5 million fine after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) discovers the traders supplied false prices to industry publications.[39][40] Dynegy sells its Hornsea U.K. natural gas storage site to pay the fine.[41]

October 2002: Dynegy exits the online energy trading business and reduces its workforce to 4,600 employees, a 14 percent decrease.[42][43] Dynegy hires former Duke Energy executive Bruce Williamson as CEO[44] and ex-Royal Dutch Shell executive Nick J. Caruso as CFO.[45] Williamson cuts costs, eliminates unprofitable businesses, and does financial restructuring. He later tells the New York Times, "We had businesses in trading, in marketing, in broadband communications, in Europe, in communications as far as China. What we have done is very systematically sell those off, shut down offices, and concentrate on the two businesses that looked like we had a competitive advantage."[46]

November 2002: Shareholders sue Dynegy for actions during the financial crisis. Dynegy pays shareholders $468 million in April 2005.[47]

December 2002: In a case later dismissed, Dynegy,[48] El Paso Corporation, Reliant Energy, Enron, and several other energy companies are accused of price manipulation and other fraudulent practices during the California electricity crisis of the early 2000s.[49]


January 2003: Dynegy sells its European and North American telecommunications businesses, restates its 2001 and 2002 income, sells a key asset, refinances $1.6 billion in debt, sells Illinois Power to Ameren, and nullifies some non-core and money-losing contracts.[50][51][52][53][54][55][56]

June 2003: Former Dynegy financial employees Jamie Olis, Gene Foster, and Helen Sharkey are indicted on numerous counts of mail and wire fraud for their roles in company's near-collapse. They are accused of deceiving auditors, regulators, and company executives.[57] Court documents state they conceived a plan to make borrowed money look like operational revenue. ABG Gas Supply was established to secure loans from Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, and Deutsche Bank. It would buy natural gas at market prices to sell it at a discount to Dynegy, with Dynegy reselling at market prices for $300 million in profit. ABG then bought natural gas at market prices and sold it at a premium to Dynegy, with the profits ABG booked used to repay the loans.

August 2003: Foster and Sharkey plead guilty and Olis is found guilty the following year, receiving a 24 years in prison.[58][59] Olis' sentence is later reduced to six years after an unrelated U.S. Supreme Court ruling holds that mandatory sentencing guidelines are in violation of the Constitution.[60] In December, three former Nicor Energy LLC executives, a joint Dynegy-Nicor venture, are indicted for an $11 million manipulation of the firm's income to hide losses.[61] In 2007, former CFO Robert Doty pays a $376,650 fine for his role.[62]

March 2004: Bruce Williamson is named chairman of the company, succeeding the retiring Dan Dienstbier.[63]

November 2004: Dynegy acquires four natural gas-fueled and four hydroelectric power plants.[64]

March 2005: Dynegy settles a 1999 dispute with the Environmental Protection Agency and spends $321 million to cut emissions at coal-fueled Illinois generation plants.[65]

August 2005: Dynegy sells its natural gas transmission businesses to Targa Resources, a company owned by private equity firm Warburg Pincus.[46][66]

September 2006: Dynegy and LS Power Group agree on a $2.3 billion joint venture deal, with LS getting a 40 percent Dynegy stake in exchange for 10 power plants. Dynegy also agrees to create and turn over to LS $245 million in new Class B shares.[67][68] Dynegy experiences an 80% decline in share price in the two years after the deal closes and the joint venture ends, with the company posting a $345 million loss in Q2 of 2009. LS dissolves the agreement and buys 9 generation plants from Dynegy for $1.025 billion. LS returns all Class B shares and is left with a 15 percent stake in the company, so that Dynegy would only have $95 million shares of common stock outstanding.[68][69]

May 2007: ChevronTexaco sells its 12 percent stake in Dynegy to the public for $680 million.[70][71]

September 2007: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sues Dynegy and other companies saying they all aren't properly accounting for the financial risks from pollutants.[72]

October 2008: After a year of negotiations, Dynegy issues statements to its investors warning that environmental regulations and lawsuits could pose financial risk to the company. The move towards coal-fueled generation leads the National Environmental Trust to derisively call Dynegy the "king of coal".[73][74]


August 2010: The Blackstone Group announces plans to purchase Dynegy for $4.7 billion. As part of the deal, NRG Energy would get four natural gas plants in California and Maine for $1.36 billion.[75] Seneca Capital, Dynegy's largest shareholder, fights the purchase. Dynegy investor Carl Icahn also opposes it, arguing the offer is too low, and raises his Dynegy stake to 12.9 percent in preparation for the shareholder fight.[76][77] Seneca Capital nominates former railroad executive E. Hunter Harrison and former energy executive Jeff Hunter for the Dynegy board of directors, challenging Bruce Williamson and his ally, David Biegler.[78]

November 2010: Dynegy executives claim the offer is solid and would give Dynegy access to lines of credit to restructure debt. With cyclically low energy prices, the company says it lacks resources to address the debt. Blackstone initially says it won't offer more than $4.50 a share, but then later that day revises its offer to $5.00.[79][80] Concerned about lack of shareholder support, Dynegy proposes postponing its shareholder meeting and is denied.[81][82][82] Dynegy management and Blackstone eventually call off the takeover when it is clear there isn't enough shareholder support.[83]

December 2010: Icahn offers a $5.50 a share cash bid for Dynegy, but also finds too little shareholder support. Seneca Capital say it would not entertain even a $6.00 a share bid. The board urges shareholders to accept the Icahn bid or risk bankruptcy, but by mid-February, even investors willing to accept the Icahn bid rescind offers and it fails.[84][85][86][87][88][89]

2011: The turnaround begins[edit]

February 2011 Dynegy chairman and CEO Bruce Williamson and CFO Holli Nichols resign and step down in March.

March 2011 Robert C. Flexon joins as interim president and CEO. Board member Thomas Elward is named interim chairman. Harrison is elected to the board, as well as Ichan Capital's Vincent J. Intrieri and Samuel J. Merksamer.[90][91][92]

March 2011: Dynegy files financials with regulators warning investors that it faces bankruptcy if debt isn't restructured.[92]

April 2011: Dynegy hires restructuring firm Lazard and law firm White & Case to advise. Vincent Intrieri is named chair of the finance and restructuring committee boards.[93]

July 2011: U.S. Bancorp, represents bondholders with investments ties to two Dynegy power plants in Newburgh, New York, the Danskammer and Roseton Generating Stations).[94]

November 2011 Dynegy Holdings files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the largest of Dynegy Inc.'s four subsidiaries.[95] The company is structured with subsidiary Dynegy Holdings in possession of nearly all debt and also guaranteeing debt for the three Dynegy Inc. operating divisions: GasCo (natural gas group), CoalCo (coal group), and a group for all others ("the stub group").

The set-up protected the three in the case of a Dynegy Inc./Dynegy Holdings bankruptcy, with few GasCo and CoalCo dividends going to Dynegy Holdings. Dynegy, Inc. separated itself from Dynegy Holdings and turned it into a LLC to use a Delaware Supreme Court ruling making it difficult for creditors to sue an LLC's board of directors for failing to uphold their fiduciary duty. Finally, GasCo and CoalCo sold themselves to Dynegy Inc. and left Dynegy Holdings with $1.25 billion in debt, with no way to seize the GasCo and CoalCo assets in the event of a default. Dynegy Inc. could then meet its debt obligations to Dynegy Holdings by paying cash or by forgiving debt, providing incentive for Dynegy Inc. to withhold payment and force Dynegy Holdings to declare bankruptcy, thereby reducing the debt's value and making it easier to pay off.[96] The arrangement intended to protect Dynegy's secured creditors over unsecured creditors, with Dynegy Holdings getting the worst-performing assets. The plan had already generated one lawsuit.[97]


March 2012: A United States bankruptcy court-appointed examiner finds Dynegy Inc.'s CoalCo purchase was fraudulent since Dynegy Holdings was already bankrupt. It constituted a breach of fiduciary duty by the Dynegy Holdings board of directors. This allowed the Dynegy Holdings board to sue the Dynegy Inc. board of for damages, potentially billions of dollars, throwing the Dynegy Holdings bankruptcy into doubt, and putting Dynegy Inc. on the hook for billions in debt.[98][99]

April 2012: Dynegy Inc. settles on $2.25 billion in debt and agrees to give creditors 99 percent of the stock of Dynegy Inc. once it emerges from bankruptcy, with existing shareholders getting just one percent of the stock in the new company. warrants will enable them to buy up to 13.5 of common stock at a set price over the next five years.[91]

July 2012: Dynegy Inc. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It also calls for a merger with Dynegy Holdings, but doesn't affect GasCo, CoalCo, or the "stub group" and allows the Dynegy Holdings bankruptcy to proceed.[100][101] Dynegy's stock is de-listed and U.S. Bancorp agrees to drop its lawsuit for a $540 million claim against the company in bankruptcy court. The U.S. Bancorp-represented bondholders would also get an additional $31 million upon the sale of the Danskammer and Roseton plants.[94][102] Dynegy schedules a vote to approve the bankruptcy plan in August. A court hearing would then be held September 5, after which the company said it would emerge from bankruptcy protection.[103]

August 2012: Dynegy Inc. posts a 2012 Q2 loss of $1.06 billion, an increase to $8.65/share from 95 cents/share a year ago. The company blames lower electricity demand, lower coal prices, and a $941 million non-cash loss caused by the transfer of its coal unit to Dynegy Holdings. The company says it plans to emerge from bankruptcy in September 2012.[104] Dynegy agrees to auction off the Roseton and Danskammer plants to help emerge from bankruptcy and pay creditors.[105][106] The bankruptcy agreement also settled claims between Dynegy Holdings and Dynegy, Inc.[105]

September 2012: Dynegy moves its corporate headquarters as part of its bankruptcy filing to 601 Travis Street in Houston. (It occupied these quarters early July 2012.) Dynegy continues to hold leases on several floors of the Wells Fargo Plaza as part of its bankruptcy filing, where the court approved a new lease in which Dynegy would abandon 130,000 square feet (12,000 m2) of space at Wells Fargo Plaza. The company asked the court to cancel its lease on the remaining 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) as well.[3]

2012: A new era for Dynegy[edit]

October 2012: Dynegy emerges from bankruptcy on October 2, 2012 and its shares began trading under the "DYN" symbol the next day.[107]

November 2012:The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) settles a decade-old lawsuit regarding California energy market price manipulation. NRG Energy, Inc. has since bought the subsidiary from Dynegy and agrees to $20 million in consumer refunds as well as spend more than $100 million to install 200 public fast-charging electric vehicle stations and 10,000 plug-in stations throughout California, with 20 percent in low-income neighborhoods.[108]

November 2012: Dynegy leases new corporate headquarters at 601 Travis Street in Houston, as per the bankruptcy agreement. As part of its bankruptcy filing, the bankruptcy court approved a new lease Dynegy would abandon at Wells Fargo Plaza. The company asked the court to cancel its other remaining lease as well.[3]

November 2012: Dynegy workers strike at the Roseton and Danskammer plants over retirement benefits.[109] Also, Dynegy's bankruptcy causes a Dutchess County, New York budget crisis impacting schools and county services due to $17 million in unpaid property taxes.[110]

December 2012: Dynegy sells the Roseton plant to Louis Dreyfus Highbridge Energy for $19.5 million.[111][112] Dynegy announces ICS NY Holdings will buy the Hurricane Sandy-damaged and inoperable Danskammer plant with the intent to demolish, but the deal falls through.[111] Helios Power Capital buys the plant for $3.5 million the following year.[113][114]


January 2013: Dynegy COO Kevin Howell resigns and stays as a consultant until a successor is named.[115]

February 2013: Dynegy demolishes its outdated South Bay Power Plant in San Diego, California.[116]

March 2013: Dynegy does a plants-for debt deal to buy three Ameren Illinois generation subsidiaries for $900 million. Dynegy forms Illinois Power Holdings (IPH), to purchase the Ameren subsidiaries. No cash changes hands, instead IPH assumes $825 million in debt. Ameren also transfers about $180 million in future tax benefits. Ameren retains the inactive Hutsonville and Meredosia plants and agrees to buy back three natural gas-fueled generation plants from IPH for $133 million. Dynegy honors existing union collective bargaining agreements at all plants.[117] Dynegy acquired five coal-fueled plants: Coffeen in Coffeen, Illinois; Duck Creek in Canton, Illinois; E.D. Edwards in Bartonville, Illinois; Joppa in Joppa, Illinois; and Newton in Newton, Illinois.[118][119]

April 2013: The swap requires FERC approval to ensure no negative Midwest consumer-impact. Meanwhile, Dynegy refinances debt at a low interest to pay off credit lines of $800 and $500 million, agreeing to pay off the new loan by 2020.[120][121] leaving Dynegy with $1.28 billion in lines of credit and $500 million in outstanding bonds.[122] Ultimately, FERC said Dynegy and Ameren-submitted studies were inadequate and ordered them redone by July 2013.[118]

June 2013: The Illinois Pollution Control Board denies Ameren's request for a five-year installation delay on pollution-reducing equipment in its coal-fueled generation plants. Cash-strapped Ameren wants to transfer the delay to give Dynegy more time to install the devices.[123] Dynegy filed its own request for a five-year waiver in July, and warned that the Ameren deal would fall apart if it did not receive the waiver. But the Sierra Club, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and other environmental groups said Dynegy had the resources to install the equipment, and opposed a waiver.[124][125][126] The Illinois AFL-CIO supports Dynegy's request, saying local jobs depended on the waiver.[126][127] The board say it will decide by November 2013.[127]

July 2013: FERC again declines to decide on the deal saying that Dynegy's study showed it charging market rates for energy in the Midwest, with FERC worrying that transmission bottlenecks in the area would permit Dynegy to charge much more. Furthermore, federal regulators were considering an expansion in the market area IPH could serve. FERC asked Dynegy to provide additional information on transmission limitations and market area expansion.[128]

August 2013:The Sierra Club files opposition to the Dynegy-Ameren deal, saying the transmission bottleneck gives Dynegy too much market power. It also argues only regional market power data was considered, not accounting for potentially severe local impacts.[129]

September 2013: The Sierra Club ACM Partners financial firm argues Dynegy intentionally left IPH underfunded and unable to tap into the parent company's resources.[119] The firm warned workers would lose pensions and local communities would foot the bill if IPH went bankrupt.[125] Illinois coal mining company Foresight Energy offered to install the anti-pollution devices at no charge in exchange for exclusive, long-term, rights to supply Dynegy's coal. Dynegy declines, partly because of similar contracts in place.[130][131] Also, environmental groups opposed it.[131]

2014 & 2015: Back into top tier of generators[edit]

On August 22, 2014, Dynegy announced a transformative deal involving two highly complex, interdependent transactions to be executed simultaneously.[132] The process was uncommon for any industry, let alone the energy sector. The deal resulted from Dynegy’s strategy to target portfolio acquisitions to strengthen and derisk the company through increased scale, market diversity, and fuel diversity. Dynegy acquired Duke’s Midwest Generation assets and retail business for $2.8 billion in cash, and the power generating assets of EquiPower Resources for $3.45 billion, with $3.35 billion in cash and $100 million in stock.

Dynegy rose from the eighth to third-largest power generator in the U.S., increasing the size of the company from 13000 MW to nearly 26000 MW.[133] The deal positioned Dynegy with the largest combined cycle fleet in the two most attractive U.S. power markets, PJM and ISO-NE. In addition, Dynegy acquired a retail business to complement its wholesale operations.

Extensive coordination was necessary to manage internal teams and multiple banks to conduct diligence on the assets of two companies, as well as develop models that accurately valued the portfolios. Execution required negotiating and announcing two deals, arranging financing, and developing a timely integration process; all while Dynegy personnel continued to operate the existing business.[134]

Dynegy’s focus was on using the tools at the company’s disposal to address the strategic challenges that the company had—namely, market concentration, asset/earnings concentration, and environmental profile given the fuel composition of its fleet. Specifically, the company’s corporate infrastructure was set up to add significant incremental scale to the business without having to meaningfully increase overhead expenses, and its balance sheet was managed to retain excess leverage capacity which could be used to finance future acquisitions.

When the two transactions became available, Dynegy was well-positioned to execute. As a result, the company now has 35 power plants in five different markets, has the largest combined cycle gas fleets in PJM and New England, and has a meaningfully improved environmental footprint. It also generates over a third of its gross margin from predictable capacity payments in PJM and New England, has a meaningful retail presence in both MISO and PJM, and has one of the most efficient cost structures in the industry. All of this was achieved while delivering meaningful free cash flow per share accretion to shareholders and improving the company’s long term credit profile and ratings.


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  132. ^ Dynegy to Nearly Double Capacity With $6.25 Billion in Deals(registration required)
  133. ^ Acquisitions power Dynegy back into top tier of generators(registration required)
  134. ^ North America High-Yield Bond: Dynegy's US$5.1bn triple-tranche bond

External links[edit]

See also[edit]