Murray Energy, the largest privately held coal company in the United States, filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio on October 29. Murray stated that it intends to sell its assets to a group of lenders that are also providing post-petition financing. The company is saddled with billions of dollars in debt, including massive pension liabilities and over $2.7 billion of secured debt. The company has also left many unsecured creditors with multi-million dollar claims. According to filings by Murray, more than 40 other domestic coal companies have filed for bankruptcy protection in the last 10 years.
If you are owed money by Murray, there are short deadlines in order to protect your rights to pursue reclamation rights and to file your proof of claim. Additionally, there are opportunities for creditors to serve on the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and have a say in the fate of their claims.
If you continue to do business with Murray Energy post-bankruptcy, you need to consider going to cash terms and you need to closely monitor an extensions of credit. There are examples of recent bankruptcies (such as Sears) that have been administratively insolvent and have failed to pay their administrative claimants (i.e., those who extended post-petition credit).
Please contact Michael Shiner or any of the attorneys at Tucker Arensberg for help with any questions you may have concerning the Murray Energy bankruptcy filing.