Patriot Coal Corp. continued to negotiate with creditors on Tuesday and postponed a key bankruptcy court hearing until Wednesday to try to reach a deal to end its chapter 11, Reuters reported yesterday. Patriot's lead attorney told Judge Keith L. Phillips that he had reached agreement with all but one key objector to Patriot's chapter 11 plan and was confident an agreement with all the creditors could be reached. The hearing was scheduled to resume at 11:30 a.m ET Wednesday. West Virginia-based Patriot Coal has said that it is running low on cash and needed court approval for its reorganization plan to avoid a liquidation. The plan is centered on selling the bulk of its mines and coal reserves to privately held Blackhawk Mining of Lexington, Ky. Creditors have objected and one group of lenders asked the court to convert the bankruptcy to a chapter 7 liquidation, which could mean shutting down the business and selling it piecemeal.
In related news, Patriot Coal Corp. has issued a new Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notice to its employees, Reuters reported yesterday. Patriot Coal expects to lay off more than 2,000 workers in West Virginia and the notice from Patriot Coal extended the period from the original WARN notice issued on Aug. 3, 2015, because of a delay in Patriot's bankruptcy case. The company has also asked the judge to allow it to reject its collective bargaining agreement with the United Mine Workers of America, which has been negotiating with Blackhawk to maintain some benefits. The case is Patriot Coal Corp.
, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia, No. 15-32450. Read more