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Foresight extends forbearance agreement, bondholder deal may be close

After months of delays and a warning that it might have to seek bankruptcyprotection, Foresight EnergyLP announced another extension of a forbearance agreement withcertain holders of its 7.875% senior notes due 2021.

Theextension, which runs through April 15, comes a day after the partnership'slast deadline passed.

Accordingto a Bloomberg report, Foresight and the group of bondholders are "closingin on a deal" that would see company founder Chris Cline inject funds torepay creditors, buying back some or all of that debt. Cline would also investin Foresight's part owner, MurrayEnergy Corp.

Thedeal may also depend on the approval of a consent fee to the miner's seniorsecured debt holders, according to the report, citing people with knowledge ofthe matter.

Foresighthas extendednegotiations with the trustee of its 7.875% senior notes due 2021 several timessince the beginning of the year after a Delaware court ruled against thecompany in December 2015 in a case brought by the trustee of the bondholders.

Thelawsuit stemmed from Murray Energy's acquisition of a 34% noncontrollinginterest in Foresight's general partner for $1.37 billion and an option topurchase an additional 46% of the partnership for $25 million in April 2015.The suit, filed by the WilmingtonSavings Fund Society FSB, argued the deal amounted to a change incontrol of the company, which should have resulted in Foresight offering topurchase the notes at 101% of the principal amount tendered plus any accruedand unpaid interest.

Theoutstanding notes are valued at $600 million.

ForesightReceivables LLC, together with the partnership, also announced the extension ofa forbearance agreement initially entered into in late January under areceivables financing agreement. The extension also runs through April 15.