Cases & Deals

Alpha Natural Resources plan confirmed by U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Client(s) Alpha Natural Resources Inc.

On July 12, 2016, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entered an order confirming the Second Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization of Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. and 148 of its debtor affiliates, less than one year after Alpha, one of the largest coal companies in the United States, entered chapter 11 with liabilities of approximately $7.1 billion amidst the most challenging economic environment for coal producers in decades. Alpha's Plan was broadly consensual and supported by all of the Company's primary creditor constituencies, including its first and second lien secured lenders, its Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and its Official Committee of Retired Employees. Just as important as the support from its economic stakeholders were the reclamation related agreements reached with its primary governmental regulators, including various departments of the United States government and the states of West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky Illinois, and Tennessee (as administered by the federal government).

Alpha's Plan provides for the continuing operations of the majority of its businesses as two discrete companies: (1) a new entity formed by Alpha's prepetition first lien secured lenders that will continue, among others, Alpha's Pennsylvania and Wyoming mining operations (the sale of which operations was incorporated into the Plan and approved by the Bankruptcy Court), and (2) a streamlined and restructured company comprising certain of Alpha's remaining operations and with a primary focus on fulfilling Alpha's land reclamation and other environmental obligations.

The Jones Day team was led by Carl Black and David Heiman, with support from attorneys across a cross-section of practice areas including: Restructuring (Jeff Ellman, Tom Wilson and Dan Merrett), Environmental (Kevin Holewinski), Litigation (Robert Hamilton and Michael Platt), Finance (Brett Barragate and John Mazey), Labor (Brian Easely and David Birnbaum), Benefits (Dan Hagen, Susan Prewitt and Miguel Eaton), Corporate (John Kane), Tax (Candace Ridgway and Colleen Laduzinski), Securities (Mike Solecki), and Government Regulations/Government Contracts (Fern Lavallee and Ryan McGovern).