Coal Acquisition seeking most of Walter’s Alabama coal mining operations

Stephen Douglas Williams, the Chief Executive Officer of Coal Acquisition LLC, supplied a declaration filed Jan. 5 at the bankruptcy court for Walter Energy that outlined the company’s ownership and what it won’t be buying from the Walter Energy bankruptcy estate.

Walter Energy recently told the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama that no other party had lodged a bid for its Alabama coal operations in competition with Coal Acquisition, which had been the stalking horse bidder for these assets. The Alabama operations center around two longwall mines working the Blue Creek metallurgical coal seam.

Williams said that Coal Acquisition was formed in September 2015 and is owned by holders of first lien secured debt of the Walter Energy companies for the purposes of bidding on and acquiring a select portion of the debtors’ assets. He was named CEO of Coal Acquisition on Nov. 5, 2015. As CEO, Williams is the sole officer of Coal Acquisition. He is not an officer or director of Walter Energy or any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries.

The current members of Coal Acquisition are certain affiliates and managed funds and/or accounts of the following: Apollo Global Management LLC, Ares Management LLC, Caspian Capital LP, Fidelity Investments, Franklin Mutual Advisers LLC, GSO Capital Partners LP and KKR Credit Advisors (US) LLC.

Under the existing Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) and in accordance with certain subsequent elections, Coal Acquisition will not acquire a significant number of the debtors’ assets, including those assets in Lots 3, 4, 8 and 9. Specifically, Coal Acquisition will not be acquiring the coke plant in Alabama owned and operated by Walter Coke, Walter’s coal mining operations in southern West Virginia or the Choctaw mine in Alabama. Furthermore, Coal Acquisition is not acquiring any of Walter’s operations or assets in Canada and the United Kingdom.

The lots in this bankruptcy court sale process were:

  • Lot 1 – Core Acquired Assets: Alabama Underground and Gas, including Mine No. 4 and Mine No. 7; JWR Mine No. 5; Barge Loadout located in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama (owned by Walter Minerals Inc.); Highway 59 Mine; East Brookwood Mine; Blue Creek Coal Sales; Black Warrior Methane Corp. Stock/Black Warrior Transmission Corp. Stock; Port of Mobile Lease; Walter Black Warrior Basin LLC; Tuscaloosa Resources, Inc. (Swanns Crossing/Carter Mine).
  • Lot 2 – Blue Creek Assets (also known as Blue Creek Energy Project);
  • Lot 3 – West Virginia Assets: Maple Coal Co. LLC, Eagle Mine and Sycamore Mine, including the primary lease with respect to the mining property that is presently subleased from J. W. Walter Inc. (which currently holds the primary lease with Pardee Minerals); and Atlantic Leaseco LLC and its Gauley Eagle Mines.
  • Lot 4 – Taft Assets, which are Choctaw, Robbins Road, Reid School, Blue Ridge, Gayosa.
  • Lot 5 – Walter Minerals land holdings, Alabama non-mining property interests (including the Panther and Howton mines).
  • Lot 6 – J.W. Walter Inc., West Virginia non-mining property interests (does not include lease from Pardee Minerals which will be part of Lot 3).
  • Lot 7 – Walter Land Co., Louisiana non-mining property interests.
  • Lot 8 – Select JWR Assets, including Mine No. 3, North River, Kellerman Prep Plant.
  • Lot 9 – Walter Coke Assets.
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.