The bankruptcy judge for Peabody Energy, the largest U.S. coal producer, on Oct. 19 approved a Peabody request for extra time to nail down a reorganization plan and to win creditor acceptances of that plan.
The exclusivity period during which Peabody has the exclusive right to file a plan of reorganization was extended through and including Dec. 14. The period during which Peabody has the exclusive right to solicit creditor acceptances under the plan of reorganization was extended through and including Feb. 15, 2017.
“The entry of this Order is without prejudice to the Debtors’ right to seek further extensions of the Exclusivity Period or the period during which the Debtors have the right to solicit acceptances under the plan of reorganization,” wrote Judge Barry S. Schermer out of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Peabody Energy announced Oct. 11 that it had obtained approval from required debtor-in-possession (DIP) lenders to amend several milestones related to the time for a decision on what is known as the CNTA issue; the company’s deadline for filing of a plan of bankruptcy reorganization/disclosure statement; and the date targeted for court approval of the disclosure statement. The extension approval recognizes the constructive discussions that have been occurring as part of the Chapter 11 reorganization process, Peabody added.
Peabody added that it still looks to complete its reorganization within the 12-month period originally contemplated for Chapter 11 cases. Since filing for Chapter 11 protection in April 2016, the company has completed its business plan, obtained approval on multiple motions regarding the Chapter 11 process and continued to take numerous steps to strengthen the business.
St. Louis-based Peabody Energy is the world’s largest private-sector coal company and a Fortune 500 company. Among other assets, it controls North Antelope Rochelle, the largest U.S. coal mine, located in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.