Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Alpha Natural Resources, second largest U.S. coal company, files for bankruptcy

On the same day that the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new version of its Clean Power Plan, the second largest U.S. coal company filed for bankruptcy. Alpha Natural Resources, which "has lost almost all its market value since 2011, when it bought Massey Energy Co. for about $7 billion" on Monday filed for bankruptcy in Virginia, Linda Sandler, Tim Loh, Jodi Xu Klein and Laura Keller report for Bloomberg.

Kevin Critchfield, chairman and chief executive officer of Alpha, said in a court filing, “The fall has been precipitous and the effect on the debtors has been extreme,” Bloomberg reports. “The CEO predicted continuing failures of major companies in the industry as a result of collapsing demand and pricing, plus a 'burdensome regulatory environment.'”

"Alpha didn’t give data on future closings, saying only that it wouldn’t immediately sell any mines," reports Bloomberg. "The company has about 8,000 employees, down 45 percent from a spike after the Massey purchase. It listed assets of $9.97 billion and total liabilities of $7.3 billion as of June 30." (Click on image for larger version)
"Research firm SNL Energy says more than three dozen coal operations have been forced into bankruptcy in just over three years," Bloomberg reports. "Most have been small, but some of the biggest firms have also succumbed, including Walter Energy Inc., Patriot Coal Corp. and James River Coal Co.—Patriot and James River for the second time. The combined market value of U.S. coal company shares shrank to about $12 billion in late July from $78 billion in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg." (Read more)

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