Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Peabody still in bond talks * Peabody Energy is continuing discussions to restructure $1.5 billion of bonds due in 2018 in an effort to stay afloat while rival coal mining companies succumb to bankruptcy.

The St. Louis-based coal miner, the largest in the country, released on Friday details of its proposal to get the unsecured owners of its bonds with the nearest maturity to agree to exchange them for a smaller portion of new debt. The new debt would be issued by Peabody and a new subsidiary that wouldn't guarantee any of Peabody's current debt.

Peabody said it might contribute several Midwestern mines to the new subsidiary, including the Gateway and Gateway North mines near Coulterville. It also may contribute its Kayenta mine in Arizona to the new subsidiary.

Peabody said it would also throw in some of its common stock.

Creditors sent a proposal Thursday that appeared to agree with most of the company's terms, but Peabody said no agreement had been reached yet.

Foresight continues talks * Creditors and Foresight Energy haven't reached a deal yet, but the St. Louis coal miner's lenders have agreed to give negotiations a few more days without demanding repayment.

Foresight says the owners of $600 million in unsecured bonds will give it until Wednesday to continue discussions without asking for the miner to repay. A forbearance agreement between Foresight and the bondholders expired Friday.

Foresight has been trying to renegotiate with creditors after a Delaware court opinion last month that found Ohio-based Murray Energy's purchase of a large stake in the Illinois basin coal miner constituted a change of control in the company, giving bondholders and other creditors the right to seek repayment of their loans.

Both the bondholders and secured lenders that own about $675 million in Foresight debt have said the ruling indicates they are entitled to repayment. …

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