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Contura, Alpha shareholders approve merger to create largest US met coal producer

Houston — Shareholders of Contura Energy and Alpha Natural Resources approved a proposed merger at a special meeting Wednesday, with the deal expected to close Friday, the companies said.

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The combined entities will be known as Contura Energy, and shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CTRA, said Contura spokesman Alex Rotonen. Shares are expected to start trading Friday, he added.

"We are gratified that our shareholders have approved the proposed transaction and that we have taken another step toward creating the largest domestic metallurgical coal producer," David Stetson, Alpha CEO, said in a statement issued Wednesday. "We are excited to complete the merger and join together these two strong companies in the very near future."

Bristol, Tennessee-based Contura and Kingsport, Tennessee-based Alpha said jointly April 30 they would merge.

Once merged, the company would be the largest met coal supplier in the US with 12.6 million st of sales in 2017 and 1 billion st in met coal reserves.

The all-stock deal would reunite two companies spawned by Alpha's bankruptcy reorganization in 2016.

Under terms of the merger agreement, Alpha shareholders would receive 0.4417 shares of Contura common stock for each ANR Inc. Class C-1 share, and each share of common stock of Alpha Natural Resources Holdings they own, representing about a 48.5% stake in the merged entity.

Prior to the close of the deal, Alpha stockholders of record as of Wednesday also will receive a special cash dividend in an amount equal to $2.725 for each Class C-1 share and each share of common stock of Alpha Natural Resources Holdings they own.

The payment date for the special cash dividend is Thursday. -- Andrew Moore, andrew.moore@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, newsdesk@spglobal.com