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Judge authorizes Murray Energy to obtain $440M in postpetition financing

A federal judge authorized Murray Energy Corp. and certain affiliates to obtain up to $440 million in postpetition financing under a superpriority debtor-in-possession credit facility as part of an ongoing bankruptcy restructuring.

Murray Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late October and subsequently submitted a plan to establish a stalking horse bidder to make an offer on its assets. It aims to try to sell off substantially all of its assets and wind down the estate, while the stalking horse bidder continues operating the remaining assets.

In a Dec. 12 filing with the U.S Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Judge John Hoffman approved the debtors' plan to obtain the financing, of which about $350 million would be provided by certain prepetition superpriority lenders and $90 million in rolled-up loans from other prepetition lenders.

Consol Energy Inc. and the United Mine Workers of America have both objected to the debtors' petition for the financing, citing concerns to their respective business interests and the collective bargaining agreement with the union. The ad hoc group of superpriority lenders denounced those objections, saying the credit facility is essential to the bankruptcy proceedings. The lenders also claimed that granting those objections would have thrown the reorganization into disarray.