MEC has already inked a definitive agreement with Foresight Reserves LP, the current owner of Foresight Energy GP, for an interest in Foresight Energy LP and FEGP. With the deal comes more than 9 billion tons in coal reserves in the ILB and Appalachia.

Post-deal, Murray will possess an 80% voting interest in FEGP and a 77.5% interest in the incentive distribution rights; 50% of the limited partner interest in Foresight Energy, including all outstanding subordinated units; and access to other coal handling, transportation and transloading facilities.

Foresight’s founder, billionaire Chris Cline, will remain a significant investor in Foresight Energy following the closure and will maintain a 22.5% equity interest in FEGP and 35% interest in FELP. He will also be involved as a board of directors member.

“Mr. Chris Cline, who is very much respected in the United States coal industry, and his team at Foresight Energy, have built and operated four of the most efficient coal mines in America utilizing the longwall mining technique. We are pleased that these operations will join Murray Energy’s 12 mines employing 13 longwall systems,” said MEC Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Robert E. Murray. “We are very excited about this new venture and the resultant world-class organization,” adding that the transaction is “truly a transformative event.”

Cline called the combination a “great day for American coal” and noted his historical parallels with Murray.

“Bob Murray and I both started as miners, and we know how to run safe, efficient and low cost mining operations. We think that we will do that even better together by sharing best practices and exploiting obvious synergies on cost. Together, we will progress our efforts to deliver reliable and low cost electricity to America’s factories, schools, hospitals, and homes.”

Murray also noted that the deal will help the newly paired company “to compete at an entirely new level in the global marketplace.”

“Moreover…the newly combined companies and operations will provide a strategic platform for further growth of our businesses. The structure and financial benefits of this transformative transaction will facilitate the reduction of our debt and further acquisitions and will provide additional operating flexibility,” he said.