Walter Energy Canada gets extra time for asset sale process

Walter Energy Canada Holdings Inc. said March 31 that it has received an extension of the Stay Period under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada) (CCAA) to June 24 from the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

These shut Canadian coal mining operations are being handled separately from a bankruptcy case out of an Alabama court for Walter Energy‘s U.S. operations.

Walter Canada Group obtained creditor protection under CCAA pursuant to an Initial Order granted on December 7, 2015. The extension of the Stay Period will allow Walter Canada Group to continue its sale and investment solicitation process for the company’s assets with the assistance of its financial advisor, PJT Partners LP.

PJT launched Phase 1 of the sale process on January 18, 2016, to solicit indications of interest in the business and assets of the Walter Canada Group in the form of non-binding letters of intent (LOIs) from various potential bidders. In light of the number of LOIs received prior to the March 18 Phase 1 deadline, the Chief Restructuring Officer, in consultation with the Monitor, KPMG Inc. and PJT, has determined that there is a reasonable prospect of obtaining one or more Bids. Accordingly, prospective bidders were notified that the sale process was progressing to Phase 2 on or about March 28, 2016.

Obligations incurred after the filing date, including obligations to employees and key suppliers of goods and services, continue to be paid on an ongoing basis.

Walter Energy Canada is a holding company for the Canadian and UK operations of Walter Energy of Birmingham, Alabama. Walter Energy Canada and Walter United Kingdom were not part of the U.S. chapter 11 filing of Walter Energy on July 15, 2015 and are not included in the asset purchase agreement that Walter Energy entered into on November 5, 2015.

Walter Energy Canada’s Canadian operations consist primarily of three coal mines and exploration properties in the Chetwynd and Tumbler Ridge areas of Northeast British Columbia. Walter Energy Canada also owns one coal mine in South Wales through its subsidiary Walter United Kingdom. All four mines are idled as a result of current market conditions.

  • The Wolverine Mine in British Columbia is an open-pit metallurgical coal mine with a coal processing plant and a rail load-out facility capable of handling 2.0-2.5 million metric tons per year.
  • The Brule Mine in British Columbia is an open pit metallurgical coal mine and produces a premium low volatile pulverized coal injection (PCI) product.
  • The Willow Creek Mine in British Columbia is an open-pit metallurgical coal mine with a coal processing plant and a rail load-out facility capable of handling production from both the Brule and Willow Creek mines. The Willow Creek Mine produces both metallurgical coal and coal used for pulverized injection purposes. The coal reserves are comprised of an estimated one-third metallurgical coal and two-thirds low-volatile pulverized coal (PCI).
  • The Aberpergwm Mine in South Wales is an underground development mine located near the town of Neath. The mine produces anthracite coal, which can be sold as a low-volatile PCI coal, and other products used for domestic purposes.
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.