April 14, 2016 - 6:13 PM EDT
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Peabody Energy Announces Court Approval Of First-Day Motions Allowing Business Operations To Proceed In Ordinary Course

- Court approves $800 million of Debtor-in-Possession financing facilities on interim basis, with $200 million of $500 million term loan immediately available to Company - Approval includes uninterrupted payment to employees - Peabody to continue payments for goods and services purchased post-petition

ST. LOUIS, April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Peabody Energy Corporation (OTC: BTUUQ) today announced that first-day motions to help facilitate continued operations in the ordinary course of business while the company operates under Chapter 11 protection were approved by Judge Barry S. Schermer of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. 

As part of the court's approval of first-day motions, Peabody received authorization from the court to:

  • Pay employees in the usual manner and to continue their healthcare and other benefits programs without disruption;
  • Pay certain prepetition wages and reimbursable U.S. employee expenses; and
  • Continue to use existing cash management systems and maintain existing bank accounts.

The Court's approvals also affirmed on an interim basis the $800 million in Debtor-in-Possession (DIP) financing facilities by a lender group led by Citigroup that includes participation of a number of the company's secured lenders and unsecured noteholders. Those facilities include a $500 million term loan, of which $200 million is now available to the company, a $200 million bonding accommodation facility and a cash-collateralized $100 million letter of credit facility.

The Court will hold hearings in May to issue the final orders regarding Peabody's first-day motions including the final approval of the DIP financing.

All of the company's mines and offices are continuing to operate in the ordinary course of business.  No Australian entities are included in the filings, and Australian operations are also continuing as usual. 

"We are pleased with this first positive step forward in our Chapter 11 process, and the support we have received since our filing from our employees, customers, suppliers and many other stakeholders has been highly encouraging," said Peabody President and Chief Executive Officer Glenn Kellow.

In its remarks to the Court the company noted that the DIP financing, involving both secured and unsecured lenders, provides sufficient liquidity to enable Peabody to operate in the normal course of business, and the opportunity for the company to maximize value to the estate through this process. The company also welcomed the comments to the Court from certain unsecured lenders that they believe in the company, in its assets and its people.

As announced yesterday, Peabody voluntarily filed petitions under Chapter 11 for the majority of its U.S. entities[1]  in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, taking a major step to strengthen its liquidity and reduce debt amid an unprecedented industry downturn.

Additional information on the process can be found at PeabodyEnergy.com. Information about the claims process will be available at http://www.kccllc.net/Peabody. The company also has established a call center for questions: 866-967-1783 if calling from within the U.S. or 310-751-2683 if calling from outside the U.S. or Canada. If calling from Australia: 1300 386 742 and +61 3 9415 4613 if calling from outside of Australia.  The court case number is 16-42529.

Related to these activities, Peabody has retained Jones Day as its legal advisor, Lazard Fréres & Co. LLC as its investment banker and financial advisor and FTI Consulting Inc. as its restructuring advisor.

Peabody Energy is the world's largest private-sector coal company and a Fortune 500 company.  The company serves metallurgical and thermal coal customers in 25 countries on six continents.  For further information, visit PeabodyEnergy.com.

Certain statements included on this release are forward-looking as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The company uses words such as "anticipate," "believe," "expect," "may," "forecast," "project," "should," "estimate," "plan," "outlook," "target," "likely," "will," "to be" or other similar words to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date the release was filed and are based on numerous assumptions that the company believes are reasonable, but these assumptions are open to a wide range of uncertainties and business risks that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. These factors are difficult to accurately predict and may be beyond the company's control. Factors that could affect the company's results include, but are not limited to: supply and demand for the company's coal products; sustained depressed levels or further declines in coal prices; competition in coal markets; price volatility, particularly in international seaborne products and in the company's trading and brokerage businesses; the company's ability to continue as a going concern, including the company's ability to confirm a plan of reorganization that restructures our debt obligations to address the company's liquidity issues and allow emergence from the Chapter 11 proceedings; the company's ability to access adequate debtor-in-possession financing or use cash collateral; the court's rulings in the Chapter 11 proceedings and the outcome of the Chapter 11 process in general; the effect of the Chapter 11 filings on the company's relationships with third parties, regulatory authorities and employees; the potential adverse effects of the Chapter 11 process on the company's liquidity, results of operations, or business prospects; the company's ability to execute its business and restructuring plan; increased administrative and legal costs related to the Chapter 11 process and other litigation and the inherent risks involved in a bankruptcy process; risks associated with third-party motions in the Chapter 11 proceedings, which may interfere with the company's plan of reorganization and restructuring generally; our ability to successfully consummate the planned divestiture of our interest in the Prairie State Energy Campus; the cost, availability and access to capital and financial markets, including the ability to secure new financing after emerging from the Chapter 11 process; the risk that the Chapter 11 filing will disrupt or impede our operations in Australia; our ability to appropriately secure our obligations for reclamation, federal and state workers' compensation, federal coal leases and other obligations related to our operations, including our ability to utilize self-bonding and/or successfully access the commercial surety bond market; customer procurement practices and contract duration; the impact of alternative energy sources, including natural gas and renewables; global steel demand and the downstream impact on metallurgical coal prices; lower demand for our products by electric power generators; the impact of weather and natural disasters on demand, production and transportation; reductions and/or deferrals of purchases by major customers and the company's ability to renew sales contracts; credit and performance risks associated with customers, suppliers, contract miners, co-shippers, and trading, bank and other financial counterparties; geologic, equipment, permitting, site access, operational risks and new technologies related to mining; transportation availability, performance and costs; availability, timing of delivery and costs of key supplies, capital equipment or commodities such as diesel fuel, steel, explosives and tires; impact of take-or-pay arrangements for rail and port commitments for the delivery of coal; successful implementation of business strategies, including, without limitation, the actions we are implementing to improve our organization and respond to current market conditions; negotiation of labor contracts, employee relations and workforce availability, including, without limitation, attracting and retaining key personnel; changes in postretirement benefit and pension obligations and their related funding requirements; replacement and development of coal reserves; effects of changes in interest rates and currency exchange rates (primarily the Australian dollar); effects of acquisitions or divestitures; economic strength and political stability of countries in which the company has operations or serves customers; legislation, regulations and court decisions or other government actions, including, but not limited to, new environmental and mine safety requirements, changes in income tax regulations, sales-related royalties, or other regulatory taxes and changes in derivative laws and regulations; our ability to obtain and renew permits necessary for our operations; litigation or other dispute resolution, including, but not limited to, claims not yet asserted; any additional liabilities or obligations that the company may have as a result of the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal Corporation, including, without limitation, as a result of litigation filed by third parties in relation to that bankruptcy; litigation, including claims not yet asserted; terrorist attacks or security threats, including, but not limited to, cybersecurity threats; impacts of pandemic illnesses; and other risks detailed in the company's reports filed with the SEC. The company does not undertake an obligation to update its forward-looking statements except as required by law.

[1] Including the following international entity: Peabody Holdings (Gibraltar) LTD.

U.S. / International
Beth Sutton
+1 (314) 342-4351

Michelle Constantine
+61 7 3333 5670


Peabody Energy.


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SOURCE Peabody Energy

Source: PR Newswire (April 14, 2016 - 6:13 PM EDT)

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