Business
4:39 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Patriot Coal To Emerge From Bankruptcy

St. Louis-based Patriot Coal announced Tuesday that a federal bankruptcy judge has approved the company’s reorganization plan, clearing the way to come out of bankruptcy.

Patriot officials said the company will close on its exit financing and emerge from Chapter 11 Wednesday.

The company filed for bankruptcy in July, 2012. At the time, Patriot cited a low demand for coal and big costs for retiree benefits.

During bankruptcy hearings, Patriot complained it was saddled with $1.6 billion in health care liabilities for retirees from both Peabody and Arch Coal.

Patriot was spun off from St. Louis-based Peabody Energy in 2007 and in 2008 Patriot bought Magnum Coal, which owned several former Arch Coal subsidiaries.

Late this summer, Patriot reached settlements with Peabody and the United Mine Workers of America, and created a health benefits trust for about 10,000 retired miners.

Patriot also was able to secure  about $800 million dollars in financing as part of the reorganization.

President and CEO Bennett Hatfield said in a statement that the company "looks forward to a new beginning as a well-capitalized company."