Industries Energy/Green

Alpha Natural Resources seeks court approval to sell assets

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Bristol-based Alpha Natural Resources Inc. is seeking federal bankruptcy court approval for a plan to sell many of its coal mining operations.

The auction of these assets is part of its plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company filed for bankruptcy in August.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia will hold a hearing on the plan on Thursday.

A motion filed in the court last month proposes the auction of the core assets, including coal and natural gas operations in Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and Pennsylvania.

The process would include a “stalking horse bid” of $500 million, setting a floor for offers from its first-lien lenders.   

Assets to be sold include:

  •  Alpha Coal West mine complexes in Wyoming;
  •  McClure, Nicholas and Toms Creek mine complexes in West Virginia and Virginia;
  •  Coal operations and reserves located in Pennsylvania, including the Cumberland and Emerald mine complexes, Freeport, Sewickley, and Foundation coal reserves, and all related assets;
  •  Alpha’s interest in a natural gas business in the Marcellus Shale owned by Pennsylvania Land Resources Holding Co. LLC;
  •  The company's interest in Dominion Terminal Associates, a coal export terminal in Newport News; and
  •  Certain other assets, including working capital.

All sales would be subject to court approval.

Alpha’s remaining assets will become part of a smaller, reorganized company “structured to focus primarily on fulfilling all of the company's environmental reclamation obligations on an ongoing basis.”  Some of Alpha's remaining mines will continue operating.

“By selling certain assets as a going concern and restructuring the company's remaining assets into a reorganized Alpha, the company is able to provide maximum recovery to its creditors, while preserving jobs and putting itself in the best position to meet its reclamation obligations,” the company said in a news release.

Alpha expects the plan to allow it to conclude bankruptcy proceedings by June 30.

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