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Bankruptcy court sets auction procedures, date for Murray Energy assets

Murray Energy Corp. received bankruptcy court approval for a bidding process to sell the company's assets.

The company is the largest private coal miner in the U.S. and filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in October 2019. In a Jan. 9 order, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio approved a final bid deadline of March 16 and an auction date of March 26.

Murray Energy is negotiating an asset purchase agreement with an entity formed at the direction of the company's ad hoc group of superiority lenders that will serve as a stalking horse bid for the assets. The company previously said the superpriority lenders would form an entity, now being called "Murray NewCo," with a board that will include former Murray Energy President and CEO Robert Murray as board chairman. Robert Moore, who leads Murray Energy and affiliated company Foresight Energy LP, will be president and CEO of the new entity.

An auction will be held at the offices of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in New York only if deemed necessary based on the bids received. Interested parties are encouraged to deliver a preliminary nonbinding indication of interest by a Feb. 4 preliminary deadline established by the order.

Objections to the sale are due by May 26, and the court scheduled a hearing for June 2 to consider the successful bids.