February 9, 2016

Alpha Looks At Possibility Of Selling Wyoming Coal Mines

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Bankrupt coal miner Alpha Natural Resources is hoping to put its core assets on the auction block, including its mines in Wyoming.

A group of the company’s lenders have placed a so-called “stalking horse bid” of $500 million, effectively setting the floor for what the company would accept. Pending approval by a bankruptcy judge, Alpha could start taking bids from other interested buyers later this month.

The company doesn’t have to go through with the sale of the assets, but could if it gets a high enough bid.

Taylor Kuykendall covers the coal industry for S&P Global Market Intelligence, a trade publication. He says the most striking part of the proposal is the low stalking horse bid.

“Really $500M for a company like Alpha is really pretty low when you look at the fact that they were buying companies like Massey Energy for several billion just a few years ago,” Kuykendall said.

Alpha operates two of Wyoming’s largest mines and employs more than 500 people in the state.