Alpha Cancels Auctions for Wyoming Mines During Contentious Bankruptcy Process

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Benjamin Storrow in the Casper Star Tribune:A Virginia environmentalist seeking to buy Alpha Natural Resources out of bankruptcy would not close the company’s Wyoming mines.Instead, the Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte mines would be operated to generate income for reclamation of Alpha’s eastern operations, according to a person familiar with the thinking of Tom Clarke, CEO of the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund.That statement came as jostling in court continued over Alpha’s restructuring plan.The Bristol, Virgina-based miner canceled an auction scheduled for Monday, saying it had only received one qualified offer for its core assets. That bid belonged to the company’s senior lenders, who submitted a $500 million offer in March.An auction of the company’s natural gas assets in the Marcellus shale play did proceed, but the outcome was not announced. Alpha previously agreed on a minimum bid of $200 million with Rice Energy.Clarke, through a subsidiary of his non-profit, the Virginia Legacy Conservation Fund, tendered a roughly $3 billion bid for Alpha’s assets, a figure which includes the assumption of the company’s reclamation liability. The Virginia environmentalist will not object to Alpha’s decision to cancel the auction, according to a source who spoke on the condition anonymity because bids are confidential.Instead, Clarke is betting concerns raised by the U.S. Trustee and West Virginia regulators will prompt the federal bankruptcy court to reject Alpha’s restructuring plans, the person said, making his offer more palatable to the company’s creditors.State and federal regulators have argued the company is effectively seeking to jettison its reclamation obligations in Appalachia by selling its core-assets to senior lenders and creating a second restructured company responsible for cleanup of its marginal mines.“That restructuring plan would divest ‘reorganized Alpha’ of its most valuable and most profitable assets, while leaving it saddled with its largest, and most intractable, liabilities,” West Virginia regulators wrote in an objection to the company’s plans. They estimated Alpha’s cleanup costs in excess of $1 billion.Full article: Alpha Cancels Auctions for Wyoming Mines During Contentious Bankruptcy Processlast_img

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