Arch Coal wants 120 extra days to nail down final reorganization plan

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri is due to hold a June 9 hearing on a May 10 request from Arch Coal to extend by 120 days each the deadlines to file a reorganization plan and to line up creditor approvals for that plan.

Arch Coal wants the exclusive period to file a chapter 11 plan extended from May 10 to Sept. 7, and the exclusive period to solicit creditor acceptances from July 9 to Nov. 6.

Arch Coal, one of the nation’s top coal producers, and various subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for relief under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code on Jan. 11 of this year.

On May 5, Arch filed its initial reorganization plan and disclosure statement with the court, which would see the company reorganized with revamped finances. A hearing to approve the adequacy of the disclosure statement is currently scheduled for June 9.

Arch said its remains on track to confirm the plan in September 2016. “The Debtors remain focused on reaching consensus on a plan of reorganization among their creditors while continuing to advance toward an expeditious confirmation and consummation of the Plan,” the company said. “In addition to the substantial efforts required to prepare and file the Plan and Disclosure Statement and to operate their businesses in chapter 11, the Debtors have worked diligently on multiple fronts to maintain the stability of their businesses and enhance the profitability of their operations using the tools available to them under the Bankruptcy Code, with a focus on maximizing creditor recoveries, continuing to operate safe and environmentally sound mine sites and preserving jobs and benefits for thousands of families.”

Arch said it and its advisors have also dedicated significant time and resources to, among other things:

  • obtaining approval of a $275 million debtor-in-possession credit facility on appropriate terms, permitting the financing of the Debtors’ operations during these chapter 11 cases;
  • obtaining approval of various other critical early case relief;
  • negotiating and obtaining court approval of a stipulation to provide financial assurances to the State of Wyoming with respect to certain mine reclamation obligations;
  • negotiating, obtaining court approval of and consummating the sale of Debtor ICG Knott County LLC in eastern Kentucky, which was part of the 2011 buy of International Coal Group;
  • beginning the process of analyzing thousands of leases and executory contracts to identify those that are beneficial to the Debtors’ estates and should be assumed and those that should be rejected, (f) responding to a multitude of creditor, supplier and customer inquiries;
  • finalizing and filing the Debtors’ schedules of assets, liabilities and executory contracts and unexpired leases, and their statements of financial affairs;
  • establishing a bar date for the filing of claims; and
  • engaging in negotiations with critical vendors and contract counterparties.

Arch wrote: “The Debtors’ goal is, of course, to confirm a plan of reorganization that will receive broad-based support from all of their constituencies. Additional work and progress is necessary in connection with the continued negotiation of such a plan of reorganization. Accordingly, the Debtors are seeking a 120-day extension of the Debtors’ Exclusive Periods, which is both reasonable as compared to extensions approved by this and other courts as well as sufficient to allow the Debtors to confirm and consummate a plan of reorganization….”

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.