Vectren’s sale of Indiana coal mines clears antitrust review

Vectren Corp. (NYSE: VVC) reported on Aug. 11 that the required review waiting period expired at midnight on Aug. 6 under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

This antitrust filing was made in connection with Vectren’s previously announced sale of its wholly owned coal mining subsidiary, Vectren Fuels, to Sunrise Coal LLC, an Indiana-based subsidiary of Hallador Energy (NASDAQ: HNRG). This completes another required step in the process to close the transaction.

The transaction is proceeding as planned, with closing expected in the third quarter of 2014, Vectren noted.

Vectren announced July 1 that it had reached an agreement to sell its wholly owned coal mining subsidiary. Sunrise already owns and operates coal mines in Indiana, where Vectren’s mines are located. 

Vectren Fuels owns three underground coal mines in southwestern Indiana, including two basically new mines in Oaktown and one longstanding mine, Prosperity, in Petersburg. Both Oaktown mines are operated by outside contractor Black Panther Mining LLC, while the Petersburg mine is operated by Five Star Mining Inc. Both contract companies are controlled by the Blankenberger family, longtime veterans of the Indiana coal industry. Collectively, the three mines employ approximately 850 contract miners.

Hallador has said it will not retain the contract mining companies when it takes over operation of these mines. Hallador said this buy will enable it to use the Oaktown infrastructure to develop a new coal reserve nearby that it already controls, saving it $150m in mine development costs.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.