Tuesday 10th December 2019 Font size:

Murray files for bancruptcy

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

Robert E. Murray, the U.S. coal baron who pressed the Trump administration to help save America’s struggling miners, placed his company into bankruptcy as demand for the fossil fuel continues to weaken.

Murray Energy Holdings Co. filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbus, Ohio, to restructure more than $2.7 billion of debt. The miner — the largest privately-owned U.S. coal company — reached a restructuring support agreement with lenders who hold more than 60% of a $1.7 billion loan, the company said in a statement. The deal provides a new $350 million loan to keep operations going during the reorganization.

The bankruptcy comes more than a year after the Trump administration’s efforts to subsidize struggling nuclear and coal-fired power plants failed, shot down by Trump’s own appointed energy regulators. Some of those plants were Murray Energy’s customers. Robert Murray, a big donor to Trump’s campaign, was instrumental in setting his energy agenda and has hosted multiple fundraisers.

The company said that it has named Robert D. Moore, Robert Murray’s nephew and former chief operating officer, as president and chief executive officer of Murray Energy. Under the restructuring agreement, the lender group will form a new entity — called Murray NewCo — that would seek to acquire the company’s assets, with Murray as chairman and Moore as CEO.

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