The AES Corporation 10-Q 2006
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
x QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Quarterly Period Ended June 30, 2005
o TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission file number 0-19281
THE AES CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(Registrants Telephone Number, Including Area Code)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an accelerated filer (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act) Yes x No o
The number of shares outstanding of Registrants Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share, at January 6, 2006, was 655,986,313.
THE AES CORPORATION
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)
* See Note 1
See Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements.
THE AES CORPORATION
See Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements.
THE AES CORPORATION
* See Note 1
See Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements.
THE AES CORPORATION
In our previously filed Form 10-K, for the year ended December 31, 2004, management reported that a material weakness existed in its internal controls over financial reporting related to accounting for income taxes. Specifically, the Company lacked effective controls for the proper reconciliation of the components of its foreign subsidiaries income tax assets and liabilities to related consolidated balance sheet accounts.
After examining certain historical purchase transactions from 1999 2002 and reviewing the reconciliations of detailed historical income tax return records to reported book/income tax differences, various accounting errors were identified. As a result of these initial findings, on July 27, 2005 the Company announced that it would restate its previously filed financial statements. Management also expanded the scope of the review to include the composition of other material current and deferred income tax related balances including those recorded by or, on behalf of, our domestic subsidiaries and the parent company. As a result of this expanded review, additional non-tax items also were identified and corrected. A discussion of both income tax and non-tax adjustments follows.
The errors identified from the income tax review can be categorized into three types of deferred tax issues. Details regarding material findings associated with each issue are provided below:
1. Deferred income tax adjustments associated with foreign acquisitions and restructurings
La Electricidad de Caracas (EDC)
The most significant deferred income tax restatement adjustment related to the purchase of a majority interest in EDC, a private integrated utility in Venezuela in June, 2000. At that time, a deferred income tax liability was recorded representing the difference between the non-inflation indexed income tax basis and the resulting adjusted purchase basis (assigned carrying value) of fixed assets. However, Venezuelan income tax provisions allow for the indexing of EDCs non-monetary assets and equity, as a result of inflation. This indexing created an additional layer of tax basis that should have been included as part of the acquisition income tax basis at the time of the acquisition.
In addition, several other purchase accounting adjustments were recorded to correctly account for the treatment of deferred charges and the fair value applied to an equity investment held by EDC at the time of acquisition. The recording of the deferred income tax asset related to indexation and the other noted adjustments affected the allocation of the excess fair value over cost (commonly referred to as negative goodwill) to non-monetary assets.
At the time of the acquisition of Eletropaulo, a regulated utility located in Brazil, the Company did not record certain deferred income taxes on the difference between the tax basis of land and the related book basis which was adjusted to fair value under acquisition accounting guidelines. The correction of this error resulted in the recording of additional deferred income tax liabilities at the initial date of consolidation in February 2002. This increase in deferred income tax liability increased the original goodwill calculated as the excess purchase price over the fair value of assets and liabilities. As a further result, this adjustment also increased goodwill impairment expense subsequently recognized in 2002.
In January, 2004 the Company entered into a debt restructuring transaction with the Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), whereby BNDES received a 54% economic interest in our Brazil distribution business and two generating facilities in exchange for the cancellation of $863 million of debt and accrued interest owed by AES Elpa and AES Transgas, holding companies for the Brazilian operations. After the Company made a cash payment of $90 million, the remaining indebtedness of $510 million, was re-profiled at a 9% stated interest rate with extended maturities. This exchange was accounted for as a modification of debt. The terms of the agreement state that penalty interest as of December 31, 2004 of $194 million would be cancelled in the future ratably as the principal of the new $510 million debentures are paid within the stated timeframes. This treatment gave rise to a deferred income tax liability. As a result of the income tax review, it was determined that a deferred income tax liability should have been recorded for $194 million of penalty interest anticipated to be forgiven in the future. To correct this error, the additional deferred income tax liability was recorded as part of the stock issued for debt restructuring transaction, with the following impacts:
· A deferred income tax liability at Brasiliana (the new parent company of the restructured entities), was recorded as of January, 2004. This deferred liability is also subject to foreign currency remeasurement in each subsequent reporting period.
· Debt modification calculations were adjusted to include the fair value of the increased income tax expense due to the forgiveness of debt compared to the book value of debt remaining. The resulting impact reduced the debt discount and decreased the effective interest rate. This adjustment did not change our conclusion regarding the accounting treatment of the transaction as a modification of debt.
These adjustments also impacted the amounts recorded to reflect the BNDES debt restructuring described above. This impact is described below in the Other Non Income Tax Adjustments section.
Other Acquisition Related Income Tax Adjustments
As a result of the comprehensive review of income tax accounting, certain other adjustments were made to correct errors identified at other subsidiaries, primarily related to recording of deferred income taxes arising from the step up of acquired assets to fair value and/or from other purchase accounting items. These adjustments increased or decreased fixed assets or concession assets and as a result impacted depreciation or amortization charges recorded within the Companys statements of operations.
2. Foreign currency remeasurement of deferred income tax balances where the U.S. dollar is the functional currency at certain subsidiaries
The functional currency for certain of the Companys foreign subsidiaries is the U.S. dollar. After reviewing the income tax balances for certain of the Companys U.S. dollar entities in Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Argentina and Mexico, the Company discovered that deferred income taxes were remeasured from local currency to the U.S. dollar using the historical exchange rate versus the current exchange rate as prescribed by Statement of Financial Standard (SFAS), No. 52, Foreign Currency Translation and SFAS No. 109, Accounting for Income Taxes, starting in the year of acquisition or formation. In addition, as noted above, certain additional deferred tax amounts were recorded in these entities, which also required remeasurementthe largest of which was the additional deferred tax asset related to the EDC purchase accounting indexation adjustment described above.
3. Reconciliation of income tax returns to U.S. GAAP income tax balances
The remediation plan involved a detailed review of current and temporary differences identified through an analysis of local income tax return filings. The completion of this review also required the Company to fully evaluate adjustments which had been previously recorded in consolidation, but which should have been recorded at a subsidiary level where the appropriate analysis of the tax jurisdiction could be made. This process led to the identification of errors that accounted for the remainder of the deferred income tax entries.
Major components of the income tax expense adjustments are described below:
Establishment of Deferred Tax Liability for Brazilian Unrealized Foreign Currency GainsCertain of the Companys Brazilian subsidiaries have designated the U.S. dollar as the functional currency for accounting purposes. For Brazilian tax purposes, these companies have elected to treat these exchange gains or losses as taxable or deductible only when cash payments are made. The Company did not record deferred assets or liabilities related to the unrealized gains and losses that occur on an interim basis related to its U.S. dollar denominated debt. Under U.S. GAAP, these increases/decreases in deferred liabilities/assets are permanent differences that are recorded as an adjustment to tax expense.
Establishment of a U.S. Liability Related to Brazilian Deferred Tax AssetsOne of the Companys Brazilian subsidiaries, Sul, which has designated its functional currency as the Brazilian real, has generated deferred tax assets mainly related to net operating losses, unrealized tax losses on foreign currency transactions and certain other taxable temporary differences. A restructuring transaction was undertaken in relation to this subsidiary in July 2002. At the time of this restructuring, the Company should have recorded a reduction to the deferred tax assets for the U.S. income tax liability associated with the future projected Brazilian taxable income.
Establishment of Other Valuation AllowancesThe Company determined that certain valuation allowances should have been provided at various subsidiaries in Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina related to deferred tax assets recorded primarily related to net operating loss carryforwards. Under U.S. GAAP, the Company is required to assess its ability to utilize deferred tax assets under a more likely than not standard and provide a valuation allowance to the extent the asset or any part of it does not meet this test. As part of the deferred tax review, the Company determined that these deferred tax assets were unlikely to be utilized in full or in part, based on information available in these historical periods and consequently did not meet the more likely than not standard.
Other Tax Expense ItemsThe Company undertook a detailed comparison of the tax returns filed to accounting records in a majority of the countries in which we operate and identified certain other adjustments related to this reconciliation. Most significantly, these adjustments included to the following:
· non-deductibility of certain holding company interest and goodwill;
· capitalized interest on tax holiday projects;
· treatment of certain foreign investment tax credits;
· reconciliation of other deferred tax balances; and
· changes in pre-tax book income related to other non-tax restatement adjustments.
Other Non-Income Tax Adjustments
Other non-income tax accounting errors were also identified as part of the Companys review of certain other historical transactions. The Company has concluded that the reasons for these errors primarily related to the lack of sufficient control and documentation procedures in 2002 and prior
years related to certain consolidation and foreign currency translation processes. Significant non-income tax errors are described below:
AES acquired 56% of SONEL located in Cameroon in July, 2001. Since that time, AES SONEL experienced a high degree of turnover of its senior accounting personnel. SONELs accounting systems required a significant degree of manual intervention including the conversion of local GAAP financial statements into U.S. GAAP.
During the Companys 2004 year-end process, the Company discovered errors in minority interest calculations that were corrected in the Companys restated financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2002 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 10-K on March 30, 2005. Subsequently, as part of the Corporate process to ensure the correct communication and documentation of the correction of the initial error at the subsidiary level, a comprehensive additional review of the preparation of the U.S. GAAP financial statements was performed and the following errors were identified:
· translation errors from local currency to U.S. dollar financial statements;
· the omission of certain purchase accounting adjustments related to the final valuation of our concession assets and recording of severance provisions from the U.S. GAAP financial statements; and
· incorrect treatment related to the accounting for dividends.
As a result of the income tax review performed at AES Elpa, one of the Companys Brazilian holding companies, the Company identified a long-term liability which had been recorded for Brazilian GAAP but which had been omitted from U.S. GAAP financial statements at the acquisition date. The proper recording of this liability at the acquisition date would have increased the opening balance of goodwill, which was subsequently impaired and thereby written off as of the end of December, 2002. The impact of this adjustment as of December 31, 2002, increased long term liabilities and increased goodwill impairment expense and prior retained earnings by the same combined amount. This long-term liability is accreted by an interest expense component on a monthly basis.
The Company determined that an error had been made in the initial accounting for a debt instrument which had been assumed at the date of purchase of Tiete, a generation company in Brazil, in 1999. The debt requires an annual adjustment to principal based on changes in the local rate of inflation. The Company accounted for this by using estimates of future inflation over the life of the debt and amortizing these adjustments as a component of interest expense over the term of the loan. These future inflation estimates were recorded on the balance sheet as a deferred financing cost within long-term assets. Periodically, adjustments were made to these estimates when the actual annual inflation calculations were charged to the principal balance. Subsequently, it was determined that inflation changes should be calculated and adjusted on a monthly basis through interest expense based on the rate of inflation in that month, regardless of how the actual cash payment would finally be determined.
SUL and Eletropaulo
The Company determined that an error had been made regarding the timing of the recognition of certain revenues recorded by its Brazilian utilities Eletropaulo and Sul. The tariff rates, as set by the
Brazilian regulatory authority (ANEEL) provide that a percentage of a distributors revenue is added to the consumer tariff rate in return for the Companys future spending of these amounts on capital or operating expense projects approved by ANEEL for the express purpose of improving the efficiency of the electrical system. Eletropaulo and Sul had previously recognized the revenue related to this portion of the tariff when billed, and recorded the future operating expense and capital project expenditures when incurred, since the expenditures were not considered pass through costs for purpose of a future tariff reset. However, under the guidance of SFAS 71 Accounting for the Effects of Certain Types of Regulation, Eletropaulo and Sul should have deferred this portion of revenue until such time that the related expenditures were incurred.
The correction of the error related to AES Elpa described above and other adjustments prior to January 2004 which impacted the net assets of Eletropaulo, Tiete and Uruguaiana, also impacted the recording of the Brazilian debt restructuring transaction with our lender, BNDES, as described earlier. The impact on the 2004 restated financials decreased the minority interest share allocated to BNDES and increased additional paid-in capital, a component of stockholders equity. The adjustment to additional paid-in capital was recorded in accordance with the Companys previously established accounting policy pertaining to gains or losses resulting from subsidiary sales of stock as permitted under SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 51, Accounting for Sales of Stock by a Subsidiary.
Corporate Consolidation Accounting
During the restatement period, the Company undertook additional reviews of the consolidation process, including a review of consolidation journal entries to ascertain that appropriate supporting documentation existed and that current personnel who were performing the consolidation understood the basis for these entries. Several historical consolidation elimination adjustments were identified as errors which primarily affected deferred income taxes and other accumulated comprehensive income balances. The errors originated in years prior to 2002 and generally resulted from an inadequately controlled consolidation process including the elimination of investment accounts against subsidiary equity balances, general balancing controls related to the income statements and balance sheets submitted by our subsidiaries, and inadequate balance sheet reconciliations of consolidated deferred income tax accounts. The correcting entries resulted primarily in a decrease in deferred income tax liabilities and an increase in foreign currency translation, a component of other comprehensive income.
As part of an ongoing balance sheet review process, it came to the Companys attention that several of its subsidiaries incorrectly included certain short-term investments as cash and cash equivalents in the balance sheet.
Cash Flow Reclassification
The Company includes components of the cash flows for its discontinued operations within the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Cash Flow Statement) in operating, investing and financing activities. A separate line entitled Decrease in cash and cash equivalents of discontinued operations and businesses held for sale was previously presented on the face of Cash Flow Statement to reconcile back to the Companys cash balance on the face of the Consolidated Balance Sheets, which excludes cash from discontinued operations. As part of the restatement, the Company has changed its presentation to include the net change in cash balances for discontinued operations as a component of net cash from operating activities.
Other Immaterial Errors
Certain other immaterial errors were identified and corrected in the appropriate periods.
The following tables set forth the previously reported and restatement amounts (in millions) of selected items within the condensed consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive income for the three months and six months ended June 30, 2004 and within the statement of cash flows for the six months ended June 30, 2004.
The condensed consolidated financial statements include the accounts of The AES Corporation, its subsidiaries and controlled affiliates (Company or AES). Furthermore, variable interest entities in which the Company has an interest have been consolidated where the Company is identified as the primary beneficiary. In all cases, AES holds a majority ownership interest in those variable interest entities that have been consolidated. All intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated in consolidation. Investments in which the Company has the ability to exercise significant influence but not control are accounted for using the equity method.
The accompanying unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements and footnotes have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America for interim financial information and Article 10 of Regulation S-X of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Accordingly, they do not include all the information and footnotes required by generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America for annual fiscal reporting periods. In the opinion of management, the interim financial information includes all adjustments of a normal recurring nature necessary for a fair statement of the results of operations, financial position and cash flows for the interim periods. The results of operations for the three and six months ended June 30, 2005, are not necessarily indicative of results that may be expected for the year ending December 31, 2005. The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements are unaudited and should be read in conjunction with the audited 2004 consolidated financial statements and notes thereto, which are included in the Companys Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2004 as filed with the SEC on January 19, 2006.
Share-Based Payment. In December 2004, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a revised Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 123, Share-Based Payment. SFAS 123R eliminates the intrinsic value method as an alternative method of accounting for stock-based awards under Accounting Principles Board (APB) No. 25 by requiring that all share-based payments to employees, including grants of stock options for all outstanding years, be recognized in the financial statements based on their fair values. It also revises the fair-value based method of accounting for share-based payment liabilities, forfeitures and modifications of stock-based awards and clarifies the guidance under SFAS No. 123 related to measurement of fair value, classifying an award as equity or as a liability and attributing compensation to reporting periods. In addition, SFAS No. 123R amends SFAS No. 95, Statement of Cash Flows, to require that excess tax benefits be reported as a financing cash flow rather than as an operating cash flow.
Management is currently evaluating the effect of the adoption of SFAS No. 123R under the modified prospective application transition method, but does not expect the adoption to have a material effect on the Companys financial condition, results of operations or cash flows, because the Company had previously adopted income statement treatment for compensation related to share-based payments under SFAS No. 123. On April 14, 2005, the SEC deferred the effective date of SFAS No. 123R until the beginning of 2006 for calendar year companies.
Implicit Variable Interest Entities. In March 2005, the FASB issued Staff Position (FSP) No. FIN 46(R)-5, Implicit Variable Interests under FASB Interpretation No. 46 (revised December 2003), Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities. This FSP clarifies that when applying the variable interest consolidation model, a reporting enterprise should consider whether it holds an implicit variable interest in a variable interest entity (VIE) or potential VIE. FSP No. FIN 46(R)-5 is effective as of April 1, 2005. Upon the adoption of FSP No. FIN 46(R)-5, the Company did not identify any potential or implicit VIEs.
Asset Retirement Obligations. In March 2005, the FASB issued FASB Interpretation (FIN) No. 47 Accounting for Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations, an interpretation of FASB Statement No. 143, which clarifies the term conditional asset retirement obligation as used in SFAS No. 143 Accounting for Asset Retirement Obligations. Specifically, FIN 47 provides that an asset retirement obligation is conditional when the timing and/or method of settling the obligation is conditioned on a future event. Accordingly, an entity is required to recognize a liability for the fair value of a conditional asset retirement obligation if the fair value of the liability can be reasonably estimated. Uncertainty about the timing and/or method of settlement of a conditional asset retirement obligation should be factored into the measurement of the liability when sufficient information exists. This interpretation also clarifies when an entity would have sufficient information to reasonably estimate the fair value of an asset retirement obligation. FIN 47 is effective for fiscal years ending after December 15, 2005. Management is currently evaluating the effect that adoption of FIN 47 will have on the Companys financial position and results of operations.
Inventory consists of the following (in millions):
Subsidiary non-recourse debt in default as of June 30, 2005 is as follows (in millions):
Andres and Los Mina, both electricity generation companies which are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company located in the Dominican Republic, entered into forbearance agreements with their respective lenders in December 2004. Pursuant to the forbearance agreements, the lenders agreed not to exercise any remedies under the respective credit agreements. The forbearance agreements for Andres and Los Mina expired on July 29, 2005 and June 10, 2005, respectively. Subsequently, in December 2005, AES Dominicana Energia Finance, S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, issued a $160 million Senior Secured Corporate Bond in the international capital markets under Rule 144A/Regulation S. The 10-year notes, with final maturity in December 2015, were priced to yield 11%. The net proceeds of the issuance were used to retire the current bank debt at both Andres and Los Mina of $112 million and $24 million, respectively. As of June 30, 2005, the debt for both of these subsidiaries is reported as current in the accompanying condensed consolidated balance sheet.
In September 2005, Indian Queens Power Ltd. (Indian Queens), an electricity generation company which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company located in the United Kingdom, was not able to meet the debt service coverage ratio as required pursuant to its term loan agreement. As a result, the debt is currently in default. The lenders have not issued a waiver for the default at this time.
Recourse debt obligations are direct borrowings of the parent corporation.
On June 1, 2005, the Company redeemed all outstanding 8.5% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2007, at a redemption price of 101.417% and an aggregate principal amount of approximately $112 million, including unamortized transaction costs.
On June 23, 2005, the Company amended its $650 million Senior Secured Bank Facilities. The interest rate on the $450 million Revolving Bank Loan was reduced to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus 175 basis points. Previously, the rate was LIBOR plus 250 basis points. In addition, the Revolving Bank Loan maturity was extended from 2007 to 2010. The interest rate on the Senior Secured Term Loan also was reduced to LIBOR plus 175 basis points, from LIBOR plus 225 basis points, while its maturity in 2011 remains unchanged.
On August 15, 2005, the Company repaid at maturity all outstanding 4.5% Convertible Junior Subordinated Debentures (the Debentures) at par for an aggregate principal amount of $142 million.
Basic and diluted earnings per share are based on the weighted average number of shares of common stock and potential common stock outstanding during the period, after giving effect to stock splits, as applicable. Potential common stock, for purposes of determining diluted earnings per share, includes the effects of dilutive stock options, warrants, deferred compensation arrangements, and convertible securities. The effect of such potential common stock is computed using the treasury stock method or the if-converted method, as applicable.
The following tables present a reconciliation (in millions) of the numerators and denominators of the basic and diluted earnings per share computations for income from continuing operations. In the table below, income represents the numerator and shares represent the denominator:
There were approximately 8.6 million and 29.2 million options outstanding at June 30, 2005 and 2004, respectively, that were omitted from the earnings per share calculation because they were anti-dilutive. For the three months ended June 30, 2005 and June 30, 2004, all convertible securities were omitted from the earnings per share calculation because they were anti-dilutive.
There were approximately 8.6 million and 26.9 million options outstanding at June 30, 2005 and 2004, respectively, that were omitted from the earnings per share calculation because they were anti-dilutive. For the six months ended June 30, 2005 and June 30, 2004, all convertible securities were omitted from the earnings per share calculation because they were anti-dilutive.
The following table summarizes financial information (in millions) of the entities in which the Company has the ability to exercise significant influence but does not control, and therefore are accounted for using the equity method.
The Company discontinues the application of the equity method when an investment is reduced to zero and does not provide for additional losses when the Company does not guarantee the obligations of the investee, or is not otherwise committed to provide further financial support for the investee. The above
table excludes income statement information for the Companys investments in which the Company has discontinued the application of the equity method. Furthermore, the Companys policy is to resume the application of the equity method if the investee subsequently reports net income only after the Companys share of that net income equals the share of net losses not recognized during the period the equity method was suspended.
The Company reviews its obligations as they relate to compliance with environmental laws, including site restoration and remediation. As of June 30, 2005, the Company recorded liabilities of $12 million for projected environmental remediation costs. Because of the uncertainties associated with environmental assessment and remediation activities, future costs of compliance or remediation could be higher or lower than the amount currently accrued. Based on currently available information and analysis, the Company believes that it is possible that costs associated with such liabilities or as yet unknown liabilities may exceed current reserves in amounts that could be material but cannot be estimated as of June 30, 2005.
At June 30, 2005, AES provided outstanding financial and performance related guarantees or other credit support commitments for the benefit of its subsidiaries, which were limited by the terms of the agreements to an aggregate of approximately $457 million (excluding those collateralized by letter of credit and surety bond obligations discussed below).
At June 30, 2005, the Company had $235 million in letters of credit outstanding under the Revolving Bank Loan that operate to guarantee performance relating to certain project development activities and subsidiary operations. The Company pays a letter of credit fee ranging from 0.50% to 2.75% per annum on the outstanding amounts. In addition, the Company had $4 million in surety bonds outstanding at June 30, 2005.
The Company is involved in certain claims, suits and legal proceedings in the normal course of business. The Company has accrued for litigation and claims where it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of loss can be reasonably estimated. The Company believes, based upon information it currently possesses and taking into account established reserves for estimated liabilities and its insurance coverage, that the ultimate outcome of these proceedings and actions is unlikely to have a material adverse effect on the Companys financial statements. It is possible, however, that some matters could be decided unfavorably to the Company, and could require the Company to pay damages or to make expenditures in amounts that could have a material adverse effect on the Companys financial position and results of operations.
In September 1999, a Brazilian appellate state court of Minas Gerais granted a temporary injunction suspending the effectiveness of a shareholders agreement between Southern Electric Brasil Participacoes, Ltda. (SEB) and the state of Minas Gerais concerning CEMIG. AESs investment in CEMIG is through SEB. This shareholders agreement granted SEB certain rights and powers in respect of CEMIG (Special Rights). In March 2000, a lower state court in Minas Gerais held the shareholders agreement invalid where the agreement purported to grant SEB the Special Rights and the lower state court enjoined the exercise of Special Rights. In August 2001, a state appellate court denied an appeal of the decision, and extended the injunction. In October 2001, SEB filed two appeals against the decision on the merits of the state appellate court, one appeal to the Federal Superior Court and the other appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice. The state appellate court denied access of these two appeals to the higher courts, and in August 2002, SEB filed two interlocutory appeals against the state appellate courts decision, one directed to the Federal Superior Court and the other to the Supreme Court of Justice. In December 2004, the Federal Superior Court denied SEBs appeal. In June 2005, the Supreme Court of Justice formally accepted SEBs appeal. SEB intends to vigorously pursue a restoration of the value of its investment in CEMIG; however, there can be no assurances that it will be successful in its efforts. Failure to prevail in this matter may limit SEBs influence on the daily operation of CEMIG.
In November 2000, the Company was named in a purported class action suit along with six other defendants, alleging unlawful manipulation of the California wholesale electricity market, resulting in inflated wholesale electricity prices throughout California. The alleged causes of action include violation of the Cartwright Act, the California Unfair Trade Practices Act and the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act. In December 2000, the case was removed from the San Diego County Superior Court to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. On July 30, 2001, the Court remanded the case to San Diego Superior Court. The case was consolidated with five other lawsuits alleging similar claims against other defendants. In March 2002, the plaintiffs filed a new master complaint in the consolidated action, which reasserted the claims raised in the earlier action and names the Company, AES Redondo Beach, L.L.C., AES Alamitos, L.L.C., and AES Huntington Beach, L.L.C. as defendants. In May 2002, the case was removed by certain cross-defendants from the San Diego County Superior Court to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. The plaintiffs filed a motion to remand the case to state court, which was granted on December 13, 2002. Certain defendants appealed aspects of that decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On December 8, 2004, a panel of the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion affirming in part and reversing in part the decision of the District Court, and remanding the case to state court. On July 8, 2005, defendants filed a demurrer in state court seeking dismissal of the case in its entirety. In October 2005, the state court dismissed the case. The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses to any actions asserted against it and will defend itself vigorously against the allegations.
In August 2000, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced an investigation into the organized California wholesale power markets in order to determine whether rates were just and reasonable. Further investigations involved alleged market manipulation. The FERC requested documents from each of the AES Southland plants and AES Placerita. AES Southland and AES Placerita have cooperated fully with the FERC investigation. AES Southland is not subject to refund liability because it did not sell into the organized spot markets due to the nature of its tolling agreement. The Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments on the time scope of the refunds. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also addressed the appeal of the FERCs decision not to impose refunds for the alleged failure to file rates including transaction specific data for sales to the California Independent System Operator (ISO) for 2000 and 2001. See State of California ex rel. Bill Lockyer. Although in its order issued on September 9, 2004 the Ninth Circuit did not order refunds, the Ninth Circuit remanded the case to the FERC for a refund proceeding to consider remedial options. That remand order is pending rehearing at the Ninth Circuit. Placerita made sales during the referenced time period. Depending on the method of calculating refunds and the time period to which the method is applied, the alleged refunds sought from AES Placerita could approximate $23 million.
In August 2001, a petition was filed against CESCO, an affiliate of the Company, by the Grid Corporation of Orissa, India (Gridco), with the Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC), alleging that CESCO had defaulted on its obligations as an OERC-licensed distribution company, that CESCO management abandoned the management of CESCO, and asking for interim measures of protection, including the appointment of an administrator to manage CESCO. Gridco, a state-owned entity, is the sole wholesale energy provider to CESCO. Pursuant to the OERCs August 2001 order, the management of CESCO was replaced with a government administrator who was appointed by the OERC. The OERC later held that the Company and other CESCO shareholders were not necessary or proper parties to the OERC proceeding. In August 2004, the OERC issued a notice to CESCO, the Company and others giving the recipients of the notice until November 2004 to show cause why CESCOs distribution license should not be revoked. In response, CESCO submitted a business plan to the OERC. In February 2005, the OERC issued an order rejecting the proposed business plan. The order also stated that the CESCO distribution license would be revoked if an acceptable business plan for CESCO was not submitted to, and approved by, the OERC prior to March 31, 2005. In its April 2, 2005 order, the OERC revoked the CESCO distribution license. CESCO has filed an appeal against the April 2, 2005 OERC order and that appeal remains pending in the Indian courts. In addition, Gridco asserted that a comfort letter issued by the Company in connection with the Companys indirect investment in CESCO obligates the Company to provide additional financial support to cover all of CESCOs financial obligations to Gridco. In December 2001, Gridco served a notice to arbitrate pursuant to the Indian Arbitration and Conciliation Act of 1996 on the Company, AES Orissa Distribution Private Limited (AES ODPL), and Jyoti Structures (Jyoti) pursuant to the terms of the CESCO Shareholders Agreement between Gridco, the Company, AES ODPL, Jyoti and CESCO (the CESCO arbitration). In the arbitration, Gridco appears to seek approximately $188.5 million in damages plus undisclosed penalties and interest, but a detailed alleged damages analysis has yet to be filed by Gridco. The Company has counter-claimed against Gridco for damages. An arbitration hearing with respect to liability was conducted on August 3-9, 2005 in India. Final written arguments regarding liability were submitted by the parties to the arbitral tribunal in late October 2005. A decision on liability may be issued in the first quarter of 2006. A petition remains pending before the Indian Supreme Court concerning fees of the third neutral arbitrator and the venue of future hearings with respect to the CESCO arbitration. The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses to any actions asserted against it and will defend itself vigorously against the allegations.
In December 2001, a petition was filed by Gridco in the local Indian courts seeking an injunction to prohibit the Company and its subsidiaries from selling their shares in Orissa Power Generation Company Pvt. Ltd. (OPGC) pending the outcome of the above discussed CESCO arbitration. OPGC, located in Orissa, is a 420 MW coal-based electricity generation business from which Gridco is the sole off-taker of electricity. Gridco obtained a temporary injunction, but the District Court eventually dismissed Gridcos petition for an injunction in March 2002. Gridco appealed to the Orissa High Court, which in January 2005 allowed the appeal and granted the injunction. The Company has appealed the High Courts decision to the Supreme Court of India. In May 2005, the Supreme Court adjourned this matter until August 2005. In August 2005 the Supreme Court adjourned the matter again to await the award of the arbitral tribunal in the CESCO arbitration. The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses to any actions asserted against it and will defend itself vigorously against the allegations.
In early 2002, GRIDCO made an application to the OERC requesting that the OERC initiate proceedings regarding the terms of OPGCs existing power purchase agreement (PPA) with Gridco. In response, OPGC filed a petition in the India courts to block any such OERC proceedings. In early 2005 the Orissa High Court upheld the OERCs jurisdiction to initiate such proceedings as requested by Gridco. OPGC appealed that High Courts decision to the Supreme Court and sought stays of both the High Courts decision and the underlying OERC proceedings regarding the PPA terms. In April 2005, the Supreme Court granted OPGCs requests and ordered stays of the High Courts decision and the OERC proceedings with respect to the PPA terms. The matter is awaiting further hearing. Unless the Supreme Court finds in favor of OPGCs appeal or otherwise prevents the OERCs proceedings regarding the PPA
terms, the OERC will likely lower the tariff payable to OPGC under the PPA, which would have an adverse impact on OPGCs financials. The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses to any actions asserted against it and will defend itself vigorously against the allegations.
In July 2002, the Company, Dennis W. Bakke, Roger W. Sant, and Barry J. Sharp were named as defendants in a purported class action filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. In September 2002, two virtually identical complaints were filed against the same defendants in the same court. All three lawsuits purport to be filed on behalf of a class of all persons who exchanged their shares of IPALCO common stock for shares of AES common stock issued pursuant to a registration statement dated and filed with the SEC on August 16, 2000, (the Share Exchange). The complaints purport to allege violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 based on statements in or omissions from the registration statement concerning, among other things, an alleged breach by AES of obligations AES owed to Williams Energy Services Co. (Williams) under an agreement between the two companies in connection with the California energy market. On September 26, 2003, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. By Order dated November 17, 2004, the Court dismissed all of the claims asserted in the amended and consolidated complaint against all defendants except for the claim alleging that the registration statement and prospectus disseminated to the IPALCO stockholders for purposes of the Share Exchange failed to disclose AESs purported temporary default on its contract with Williams. On December 15, 2004, the AES Defendants filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings dismissing the remaining claims. On July 7, 2005, the district court granted defendants motion for judgment on the pleadings and entered an order dismissing all claims and thereby terminating this action in the district court. The time to file an appeal to the action has expired without the filing of an appeal.
Commencing on May 2, 2003, the Indiana Securities Commissioner of Indianas Office of the Secretary of State, Securities Division, pursuant to Indiana Code 23-2-1, served subpoenas on 30 former officers and directors of IPALCO Enterprises, Inc. (IPALCO), AES, and others, requesting the production of documents in connection with the March 27, 2001 share exchange between the Company and IPALCO pursuant to which stockholders exchanged shares of IPALCO common stock for shares of the Companys common stock and IPALCO became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company. IPALCO and the Company have produced documents pursuant to the subpoenas served on them. In addition, the Indiana Securities Commissioners office has taken testimony from various individuals. On January 27, 2004, Indianas Secretary of State issued a statement which provided that the investigative staff had determined that there did not appear to be a justifiable reason to focus further specific attention upon six non-employee former members of IPALCOs Board of Directors. In October 2005, the Secretary of State issued a press release announcing that the investigation had been concluded and that no charges would be sought.
In April 2002, IPALCO and certain former officers and directors of IPALCO were named as defendants in a purported class action lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. On May 28, 2002, an amended complaint was filed in the lawsuit. The amended complaint asserts that IPALCO and former members of the pension committee for the Indianapolis Power & Light Company thrift plan breached their fiduciary duties to the plaintiffs under the Employees Retirement Income Security Act by investing assets of the thrift plan in the common stock of IPALCO prior to the acquisition of IPALCO by the Company. In December 2002, plaintiffs moved to certify this case as a class action. The Court granted the motion for class certification on September 30, 2003. On October 31, 2003, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment on liability. On August 11, 2005, the Court issued an Order denying the summary judgment motions, but striking one defense asserted by defendants. Trial has been scheduled for early February 2006 addressing only the allegations of breach of fiduciary duty. If necessary, one or more trials on reliance and damages issues will be conducted separately. IPALCO believes it has meritorious defenses to the claims asserted against it and intends to defend this lawsuit vigorously.
In November 2002, a lawsuit was filed against AES Wolf Hollow, L.P. (AESWH) and AES Frontier, L.P. (AESF) in the District Court of Hood County, Texas by Stone & Webster, Inc. (S&W). At the time of filing, AESWH and AESF were two indirect subsidiaries of the Company. In December 2004, the Company finalized agreements to transfer the ownership of AESWH and AESF. S&W contracted with AESWH and AESF to perform the engineering, procurement and construction of the Wolf Hollow project, a gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Hood County, Texas. In its initial complaint, S&W requested a declaratory judgment that a fire that took place at the project on June 16, 2002 constituted a force majeure event and that S&W was not required to pay rebates assessed for associated delays. As part of the initial complaint, S&W also sought to enjoin AESWH and AESF from drawing down on letters of credit provided by S&W. The Court refused to issue the injunction. S&W has since amended its complaint five times and joined additional parties, including the Company and Parsons Energy & Chemicals Group, Inc. In addition to the claims already mentioned, the current claims by S&W include claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, wrongful liquidated damages, foreclosure of lien, fraud and negligent misrepresentation. S&W appears to assert damages against the subsidiaries and the Company in the amount of $114 million in recently filed reports and seeks exemplary damages. S&W has filed a lien against the ownership interests of AESWH and AESF in the property, with each lien allegedly valued, after amendment on March 14, 2005, at approximately $87 million. In January 2004, the Company filed a counterclaim against S&W and its parent, the Shaw Group, Inc. (Shaw). AESWH and AESF filed answers and counterclaims against S&W, which since have been amended. The amount of AESWH and AESFs counterclaims are approximately $215 million, according to calculations of the subsidiaries and of an expert retained in connection with the litigation, minus the Contract balance, currently not earned, in the amount of $45.8 million. In March 2004, S&W and Shaw each filed an answer to the counterclaim. The counterclaim and answers subsequently were amended. In March 2005, the Court rescheduled the trial date for October 24, 2005. In September 2005, the trial date was re-scheduled for June 2006. In November 2005, the Company filed a motion for partial summary judgment. The Company believes that the allegations in S&Ws complaint are meritless, and that it has meritorious defenses to the claims asserted by S&W. The Company intends to defend the lawsuit and pursue its claims vigorously.
In March 2003, the office of the Federal Public Prosecutor for the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil (MPF) notified Eletropaulo that it had commenced an inquiry related to the BNDES financings provided to AES Elpa and AES Transgas and the rationing loan provided to Eletropaulo, changes in the control of Eletropaulo, sales of assets by Eletropaulo and the quality of service provided by Eletropaulo to its customers and requested various documents from Eletropaulo relating to these matters. In October 2003 this inquiry was sent to the MPF for continuing investigation. Also in March 2003, the Commission for Public Works and Services of the Sao Paulo Congress requested Eletropaulo to appear at a hearing concerning the default by AES Elpa and AES Transgas on the BNDES financings and the quality of service rendered by Eletropaulo. This hearing was postponed indefinitely. In addition, in April 2003, the office of the MPF notified Eletropaulo that it is conducting an inquiry into possible errors related to the collection by Eletropaulo of customers unpaid past-due debt and requesting the company to justify its procedures. In December 2003, ANEEL answered, as requested by the MPF, that the issue regarding the past-due debts are to be included in the analysis to the revision of the General Conditions for the Electric Energy Supply.
In May 2003, there were press reports of allegations that in April 1998 Light Serviços de Eletricidade S.A. (Light) colluded with Enron in connection with the auction of Eletropaulo. Enron and Light were among three potential bidders for Eletropaulo. At the time of the transaction in 1998, AES owned less than 15% of the stock of Light and shared representation in Lights management and Board with three other shareholders. In June 2003, the Secretariat of Economic Law for the Brazilian Department of Economic Protection and Defense (SDE) issued a notice of preliminary investigation seeking information from a number of entities, including AES Brasil Energia, with respect to certain allegations arising out of the privatization of Eletropaulo. On August 1, 2003, AES Elpa responded on behalf of AES-affiliated companies and denied knowledge of these allegations. The SDE began a follow-up
administrative proceeding as reported in a notice published on October 31, 2003. In response to the Secretary of Economic Laws official letters requesting explanations on such accusation, Eletropaulo filed its defense on January 19, 2004. On April 7, 2005 Eletropaulo responded to a SDE request for additional information.
AES Florestal, Ltd., (Florestal), a wooden utility pole manufacturer located in Triunfo, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, has been operated by Sul since October 1997 as part of the original privatization transaction by the Government of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, that created Sul. From 1997 to the present, the chemical compound chromated copper arsenate was used by Florestal to chemically treat the poles under an operating license issued by the Brazilian government. Prior to 1997, another chemical, creosote, was used to treat the poles. After becoming the operator of Florestal, Sul discovered approximately 200 barrels of solid creosote waste on the Florestal property. In 2002, a civil inquiry (Civil Inquiry No. 02/02) was initiated and a criminal lawsuit was filed in the city of Triunfos Judiciary both by the Public Prosecutors office of the city of Triunfo. The civil lawsuit was settled in 2003, and on June 27, 2005, the criminal lawsuit was dismissed. Florestal hired an independent environmental assessment company to perform an environmental audit of the operational cycle at Florestal. Florestal submitted an action plan that was accepted by the environmental authority under which it voluntarily offered to do containment work at the site.
On January 27, 2004, the Company received notice of a Formulation of Charges filed against the Company by the Superintendence of Electricity of the Dominican Republic. In the Formulation of Charges, the Superintendence asserts that the existence of three generation companies (Empresa Generadora de Electricidad Itabo, S.A., Dominican Power Partners, and AES Andres BV) and one distribution company (Empresa Distribuidora de Electricidad del Este, S.A.) in the Dominican Republic, violates certain cross ownership restrictions contained in the General Electricity law of the Dominican Republic. On February 10, 2004, the Company filed in the First Instance Court of the National District of the Dominican Republic (Court) an action seeking injunctive relief based on several constitutional due process violations contained in the Formulation of Charges (Constitutional Injunction). On or about February 24, 2004, the Court granted the Constitutional Injunction and ordered the immediate cessation of any effects of the Formulation of Charges and the enactment by the Superintendence of Electricity of a special procedure to prosecute alleged antitrust complaints under the General Electricity Law. On March 1, 2004, the Superintendence of Electricity appealed the Courts decision. The appeal is pending.
In late July 2004, the Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Eléctricas Estatales (CDEEE), which is the government entity that currently owns 50% of Empresa Generadora de Electricidad Itabo, S.A. (Itabo), filed separate lawsuits in the Dominican Republic against Ede Este, a former subsidiary of AES, and Itabo, an AES affiliate. Lawsuits against Itabo also name the president of Itabo as a defendant. In one of the lawsuits against Itabo, CDEEE requested a rendering of accountability for the accounts of Itabo with regard to all transactions between Itabo and related parties. On November 29, 2004, the Court dismissed the case. CDEEE appealed the dismissal. A hearing was held on May 12, 2005 and Itabo requested the Court to declare the Courts jurisdictional incompetence to decide the matter, in light of the arbitration clause set forth in the contracts executed between Itabo and CDEEE under the Capitalization Process. The Court ordered that the claims be heard on the merits and condemned Itabo for not complying with this request. The Court reserved judgment on Itabo´s arguments that the matter should be resolved in an arbitration proceeding. On May 25, 2005, Itabo appealed the May 12 decision and requested a stay of the decision. On October 14, 2005 the Court of Appeals of Santo Domingo upheld Itabo´s request of jurisdictional incompetence and remitted the lawsuit to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for arbitration. On May 26, 2005, Itabo filed a motion with the United States District CourtSouthern District New York, seeking relief in aid of the ongoing arbitration. The petition was denied on July 18. Itabo appealed said decision on September 6, 2005. In the other Itabo lawsuit, CDEEE also requested that the court order Itabo to deliver its accounting books and records for the period from September 1999 to July 2004 to CDEEE. At a hearing that was held on March 30, 2005, Itabo submitted
that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case and that the case should be decided in an arbitration proceeding. On October 11, 2005 the Court upheld Itabo´s petition of jurisdictional incompetence and declared that the lawsuit should be decided in an arbitral proceeding. In the Ede Este lawsuit, CDEEE requests a rendering of accountability of the accounts of all Ede Estes commercial and financial operations with affiliate companies since August 5, 1999. On February 9, 2005, Itabo filed a lawsuit against CDEEE and the Fondo Patrimonial para el Desarrollo (FONPER) seeking among other relief, to enforce the arbitration/dispute resolution processes set forth in the contracts among the parties. FONPER submitted an answer and asserted a counterclaim on April 21, 2005. CDEEE submitted an answer on April 23, 2005. Itabo answered FONPER´s counterclaim on May 12, 2005. On August 25, Itabo filed an amended lawsuit. The Tribunal has been constituted. The arbitration is ongoing.
On February 18, 2004, AES Gener S.A. (Gener SA), a subsidiary of the Company, filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York. Gener SA is co-venturer with Coastal Itabo, Ltd. (Coastal) in Itabo, a Dominican Republic electric generation company. The lawsuit sought to enjoin the efforts initiated by Coastal to hire an alleged independent expert, purportedly pursuant to the Shareholder Agreement between the parties, to perform a valuation of Gener SAs aggregate interests in Itabo. Coastal asserts that Gener SA has committed a material breach under the parties Shareholder Agreement, and therefore, Gener is required if requested by Coastal to sell its aggregate interests in Itabo to Coastal at a price equal to 75% of the independent experts valuation. Coastal claims a breach occurred based on alleged violations by Gener SA of purported antitrust laws of the Dominican Republic. Gener SA disputes that any default has occurred. On March 11, 2004, upon motion by Gener SA, the court enjoined the evaluation being performed by the expert and ordered the parties to arbitration. On March 11, 2004, Gener SA commenced arbitration proceedings. The arbitration tribunal has been appointed and the arbitration is ongoing.
Pursuant to the pesification established by the Public Emergency Law and related decrees in Argentina, since the beginning of 2002, the Companys subsidiary TermoAndes has converted its obligations under its gas supply and gas transportation contracts into pesos. In accordance with the Argentine regulations, payments were made in Argentine pesos at a 1:1 exchange rate. Certain gas suppliers (Tecpetrol, Mobil and Compañía General de Combustibles S.A.) which represented 50% of the gas supply contract have objected to the payment in pesos. On January 30, 2004, such gas suppliers filed for arbitration with the ICC requesting the re-dollarization of the gas price. TermoAndes replied on March 10, 2004 with a counter-lawsuit related to (i) the default of suppliers regarding the most favored nation clause, (ii) the unilateral modification of the point of gas injection by the suppliers, (iii) the obligations to supply the contracted quantities and (iv) the ability of TermoAndes to resell the gas not consumed. On May 12, 2004, the plaintiffs responded to TermoAndes counterclaims. In October 2004, the case was submitted to a court of arbitration for determination of the Terms of Reference. Hearings to show evidence were held in Buenos Aires in June 2005. The arbitration seeks approximately $12 million for past gas supplies plus interest.
On or about October 27, 2004, AES Red Oak LLC (Red Oak) was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Raytheon Company (Raytheon) in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York. The complaint purports to allege claims for breach of contract, fraud, interference with contractual rights and equitable relief concerning alleged issues related to the construction and/or performance of the Red Oak project. The complaint seeks the return from Red Oak of approximately $30 million that was drawn by Red Oak under a letter of credit that was posted by Raytheon related to the construction and/or performance of the Red Oak project. Raytheon also seeks $110 million in purported additional expense allegedly incurred by Raytheon in connection with the guaranty and construction agreements entered with Red Oak. In December 2004, Red Oak answered the complaint and filed counterclaims against Raytheon. In January 2005, Raytheon moved for dismissal of Red Oaks counterclaims. In March 2005, the motion to dismiss was withdrawn and a partial motion for summary judgment was filed by Raytheon seeking return of approximately $16 million of the letter of credit draw.
Red Oak submitted its opposition to the partial motion for summary judgment in April. Meanwhile, Raytheon re-filed its motion to dismiss the fraud allegations in the counterclaim. In late April 2005, Red Oak filed its response opposing the renewed motion to dismiss. In December 2005, the Court granted a dismissal of Red Oaks fraud claim. The Court ordered the return of approximately $16 million of the letter of credit draw that had yet to be utilized for the performance/construction issues. The parties are conducting discovery. Red Oak expects to defend itself vigorously in the action. Raytheon also filed a related action against Red Oak in the Superior Court of Middlesex County, New Jersey, on May 27, 2005, seeking to foreclose on a construction lien filed against property allegedly owned by Red Oak, in the amount of $31 million. Red Oak was served with the Complaint in September of 2005, and filed its answer, affirmative defenses, and counterclaim in October of 2005. Raytheon has stated that it wishes to stay the New Jersey action pending the outcome of the New York action. Red Oak has not decided whether it wishes to oppose the lien, or consent to a stay.
On January 26, 2005, the City of Redondo Beach, California, sent Williams Power Co., Inc., (Williams) and AES Redondo Beach, LLC (AES Redondo Beach), a subsidiary of the Company, a notice of assessment for utility users tax (UUT) for the period of May 1998 through September 2004 taxing the natural gas used at AES Redondos plant to generate electricity during that time period. The original assessment included alleged amounts owing of $32.8 million for gas usage and $38.9 million in interest and penalties. The City lowered the assessment to total $56.7 million on July 13. An administrative hearing before the Citys Tax Administrator was held on July 18-21 to hear Williams and AES Redondo Beachs objections to the assessment. On September 23, the Tax Administrator issued a decision holding AES Redondo Beach and Williams jointly and severally liable for approximately $56.7 million, over $20 million of which is interest and penalties. AES Redondo Beach filed with the City Manager of Redondo Beach an appeal of that decision on October 7. Under its Ordinance, the City of Redondo Beach has 45 days to hold the appeal hearing from the date of the filing of the appeal. A hearing on the appeal will likely be scheduled for late January or February 2006. In addition, in July 2005, AES Redondo Beach filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking a refund of UUT that was paid from February 2005 through final judgment of that case and an order that the City cannot charge AES Redondo Beach that tax going forward. On August 11, 2005, the City filed a demurrer seeking a dismissal of that lawsuit.
On April 26, 2003 approximately 4,000 gallons of distillate fuel oil spilled as a result of incorrect loading and storage tank valve settings at the Companys gas turbine plant at Condado del Rey, Panama. Remediation efforts were promptly conducted and completed. AES Panama agreed with Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente (ANAM), the Panamanian National Environmental Authority, to pay a fine of $250 thousand, execute a soil remediation program, present an audit and new environmental management plan for the plant, and present a project to improve the domestic wastewater treatment system of the Condado del Rey neighborhood and the environmental recovery of the Abajo river watershed. As part of recent discussions and in response to a letter received by AES Panama from ANAM on May 25, 2005, clarifying the scope of the watershed project, AES Panama paid the fine on June 6, 2005, and complied with the agreed initiatives. The Company considers this issue to be closed and does not expect that any remaining costs or efforts to be material to our operations or results.
The Company and certain of its subsidiaries are under examination by the relevant taxing authorities for various tax years. The Company regularly assesses the potential outcome of these examinations in each of the taxing jurisdictions when determining the adequacy of the provision for income taxes. Tax reserves have been established, which the Company believes to be adequate in relation to the potential for additional assessments. Once established, reserves are adjusted only when there is more information available or when an event occurs necessitating a change to the reserves. While the Company believes that the amount of the tax estimates is reasonable, it is possible that the ultimate outcome of current or future