Power plant closures are turning Westmoreland’s minemouth assets into liabilities

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Two lawyers who specialize in Chapter 11 restructuring see differing paths for Westmoreland Coal Co.: shedding debt and coming back as a leaner company with lenders in control or breaking up by selling most of its assets.Pending bankruptcy court approval, the company plans to sell its core assets, which includes its San Juan operations in New Mexico as well as its Rosebud mine in Montana, to the highest bidder. Its lenders would act as a stalking horse bidder and take the assets in exchange for the company’s debt if there are no higher offers.Steven Abramowitz, a partner with the law firm Vinson & Elkins LLP who focuses on restructuring and bankruptcy, said the lenders usually buy the assets in these sorts of cases, noting that the lenders probably know there’s little chance of another entity paying more than the value of Westmoreland’s debt.Westmoreland also intends to sell some of its noncore assets, which include the Absaloka and Savage mines in Montana; the Beulah mine in North Dakota; the Buckingham mine in Ohio; the Haystack mine in Wyoming; and the Jewett mine in Texas.Peter Morgan, senior attorney with the Sierra Club focusing on issues related to coal, including bankruptcies, said the company’s bankruptcy is taking “a very different form” than the recent Chapter 11 proceedings of other coal producers, such as Peabody Energy Corp., Alpha Natural Resources Inc. and Arch Coal Inc. While those companies’ restructuring plans helped them shed some debt while continuing normal operations throughout their proceedings, he said, “Westmoreland really seems like it’s just being split up and sold for parts.”Morgan questioned the value of the company’s core assets — minemouth operations that service coal-fired power plants with units that are scheduled to retire within a decade. Rosebud sells its coal to Colstrip, a plant that will shutter its two older units by 2022 and may close down the remaining two units in 2027. The San Juan mine sells to the San Juan plant, which is slated to retire after its existing coal contract expires in 2022. “When your crown jewels, when your most valuable assets are mines that are inextricably tied to power plants that are in the process of closing,” Morgan said, “that suggests that there’s very little value left in that company.”More ($): With few potential buyers for its mines, Westmoreland could be ‘sold for parts Power plant closures are turning Westmoreland’s minemouth assets into liabilitieslast_img read more

Mexico cartel leader given 10 life sentences in U.S.

first_img WASHINGTON, D.C. – A U.S. court on April 5 sentenced a top leader of Mexico’s Juárez cartel, who allegedly admitted a role in over 1,500 murders, to life in prison on drug trafficking and racketeering charges. José Antonio Acosta-Hernández, 34 — alias “Diego,” “Dientón,” “Diez” and “Bablazo” — was extradited to the United States from Mexico on March 16. U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone sentenced Acosta-Hernández to seven concurrent life terms, three additional consecutive life terms and 20 years in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in an El Paso, Texas court to four counts of racketeering, narcotics trafficking and money laundering, the Justice Department said. Acosta-Hernández also pleaded guilty to seven counts of murder and weapons charges related to the March 13, 2010 triple homicide in Juárez of U.S. consulate employee Lesley Enriquez, her husband Arthur Redelfs and Jorge Salcido Ceniceros, the husband of another consulate employee. U.S. officials said Acosta-Hernández admitted that he directed or participated in more than 1,500 murders since 2008 as the head of the armed wing of La Línea, part of the Juárez cartel. “As the leader of La Linea’s enforcement wing, Mr. Acosta-Hernández directed a reign of terror,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. “Today’s guilty plea and sentence are a significant step in our effort to bring to justice those responsible for the consulate murders, and it would not have been possible without the extraordinary assistance of our law enforcement partners in Mexico.” U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart called Acosta-Hernández “a cold-blooded murderer with no respect for human life or the rule of law.” “His violent and deadly actions were put to a stop due to the combined efforts of U.S. law enforcement, and the will of the Mexican government,” she added. Acosta-Hernández admitted ordering a hit on Jan. 30, 2010 on rivals sighted at a daytime birthday party at a Juárez home in which 16 people were killed. He also acknowledged many other killings, the Justice Department said. He said the violence was aimed at protecting millions of dollars in drug trafficking profits each year, officials said. [AFP, 06/04/2012; Dea.gov, 05/04/2012] By Dialogo April 09, 2012last_img read more

Teen Dies After Mom Crashes into Trees While Fleeing from FHP

first_imgA 15-year-old Georgia girl is dead and her sister and mother are recovering, after their car crashed into trees along I-75 in north Florida on Tuesday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.An FHP trooper clocked the vehicle, which was being driven by 34-year-old Cinceria Cooke of Atlanta, at 103 mph as it headed north on the highway near White Springs. The trooper began following the vehicle, which was passing cars on the shoulder and driving recklessly.The incident report states that Cooke abruptly exited the interstate, before returning onto it. She refused to stop for either of the marked patrol cars and tried to leave the highway again, but lost control and slammed into several pine trees that line the shoulder of the road.Cooke’s daughter, Aniyah Bynes, died at the scene. Her other daughter, 17-year-old Clexia Bynes, suffered minor injuries, while Cooke was taken to UF Shands Hospital in Gainesville in serious condition.It is unknown whether alcohol was a factor, as the investigation is ongoing.last_img read more

Tipp hurlers won’t partake in Munster League

first_imgSenior Hurling Manager Michael Ryan has revealed Tipperary will not take part in the Munster Hurling League next year.He was speaking exclusively to Tipp FM’s Stephen Gleeson as the hurlers arrived in the US ahead of the Fenway Hurling Classic in Boston.Michael Ryan they took the decision to pull from the Munster Hurling League due to a large number of games in a short space of time Photo: Tipperary GAAlast_img