| WILMINGTON, Del.
WILMINGTON, Del. Dec 29 Peabody Energy Corp
said on Thursday the deadline for creditors to join financing
deals aimed at bringing the largest U.S. coal miner out of
bankruptcy had been extended after large investors sued to slow
Last week, Peabody unveiled its plan to eliminate more than
$5 billion of debt and raise capital from creditors with a $750
million private placement and a $750 million rights offering.
The financing agreements were funded by key creditors that
signed on to a plan support agreement with Peabody, although a
portion of those deals were reserved for other noteholders if
they agreed to back Peabody's plan by Wednesday.
Peabody said in a statement the deadline was extended to
Friday for Peabody noteholders to join the financing deals,
which offer an opportunity to receive financial incentives.
The creditors will also be able to invest in coal as the
industry recovers from weak prices that pushed three of the four
largest U.S. coal producers into bankruptcy. Peabody this month
took advantage of rising coal prices to seek court approval to
repay a $500 million term loan ahead of schedule.
Peabody also said on Thursday it has growing support for its
plan, with holders of 65 percent of its second-lien notes and 65
percent of its unsecured notes signing on to the financing deals
and plan support agreement.
Peabody still faces opposition to its plans.
On Wednesday, investors holding about $444 million of
Peabody loans and notes sued the company to halt the financing
deals process, which they said denied them time to review
complex agreements that were filed a week ago.
The investors want the deadline to join the deals extended
until Jan. 26, when Peabody will seek approval from the
Bankruptcy Court in St. Louis for its agreements and
disclosures, according to court filings.
A spokesman for Peabody did not immediately respond to a
request for comment.
The lawsuit was brought by affiliates of Appaloosa
Management, Latigo Partners, Capital Ventures International and
Venor Capital Management.
A lawyer for the investors did not immediately respond to a
request for comment about the extended deadline.
(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; Editing by