“Today marks an exciting new beginning,” said Patriot CEO Ben Hatfield. “We have accomplished reorganization and emerged stronger to compete in global energy and steel markets.” In addition, “we have preserved nearly 4,000 jobs (and) signed and secured funding for retiree health care,” with five-year agreements with United Mineworkers of America (UMWA) representatives. “In short, Patriot Coal has a bright future,” said Hatfield.
Patriot now has lower debt and higher liquidity, with reduced legacy liabilities related to retiree health care and other post-employment benefits, said officials. Patriot, they added, also has significantly reduced operating costs, with more than $200 million in annual cash savings.
Meanwhile, Patriot will also maintain 1.8 billion tons of coal reserves, state-of-the-art mine complexes in three U.S. coal basins, and broad transportation optionality, representatives said. With a solid customer base, Patriot noted, the company will also enjoy long-standing relationships with prominent U.S. and global customers in the utilities steel producing and energy trading sectors.
Patriot finished reorganizing on December 18 by closing $545 million in exit financing, while receiving $250 million of junior capital from creditors. Reorganization was filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in eastern Missouri. Patriot also issued new common stock to creditors. As a private company, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reporting requirements are no longer applicable, though Patriot plans to release some financial results quarterly.