Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Westmoreland Coal, 6th largest in U.S., files in Chapter 11; says it doesn't anticipate layoffs during restructuring

"Westmoreland Coal Co., the country’s sixth-largest coal-mining business with 19 mines in six states and Canada, announced Tuesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and entered into a restructuring agreement with lenders in the face of $1.4 billion in debt," Judith Kohler reports for The Denver Post. "Westmoreland is among several coal companies that have filed for bankruptcy protection or continue to struggle as concerns about greenhouse-gas emissions from coal-fueled power plants have grown, and natural gas and renewable energy have become increasingly more economical than coal."

A Westmoreland spokesperson said the company will refinance an existing $110 million bridge loan to support its operations during the restructuring, and doesn't anticipate any layoffs of its nearly 3,000 employees. The company has mines in Canada and in Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, Wyoming, and New Mexico. It is based in Colorado.

"The filing for voluntary Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston lists the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. among its 50 largest creditors with unsecured claims," Kohler reports. "Westmoreland has leases with the Crow Indian Tribe in Montana. The company reported about $770 million in assets."

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