Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Peabody Energy, nation's top coal producer, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

"In a much-anticipated move, the nation’s top coal producer, Peabody Energy, this morning sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors while it tries to reorganize its finances amid the continuing decline of the mining industry," Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. "Peabody lawyers filed the company’s bankruptcy petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis, where the company is based."

Peabody officials "called the move a 'major step to strengthen liquidity and reduce debt amid an unprecedented industry downturn,'" Ward writes. "All of the company’s mines and offices are continuing to operate in the ordinary course of business and are expected to continue doing so for the duration of the process, Peabody said. Peabody, founded in 1883, produced more than 175 million tons of coal and employed nearly 5,000 miners in the U.S. in 2015, according to disclosures the company filed with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration." Last month Peabody announced it was cutting 235 jobs, or 15 percent of its workforce, at North Antelope Rochelle in the Powder River Basin.

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