Cloud Peak Energy

Cloud Peak's Gillette-based Cordero Rojo mine.
Cloud Peak Energy

On October 2, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved the Navajo Transitional Energy Company, LLC (NTEC) to purchase Cloud Peak's assets including the Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines in the Powder River Basin. It comes a month and a half after the Navajo Nation-company won in the initial auction.

Identical Business Address from three LLCs - all linked to Tom Clarke
Multiple Secretary of State Websites

Virginia businessman Tom Clarke, who recently came close to owning Westmoreland's Kemmerer mine, appears to be the back-up bidder in Cloud Peak Energy's asset sale. That comes despite his name not being immediately connected to the LLC in public court documents.

The business address of Aspen Coal & Energy, LCC (Aspen) matches up with two other Tom Clarke-led LLCs in Merida Natural Resources and Western Coal Acquisition Partners in Roanoke, Virginia. In the articles of organization for the company, the entity forming the company was Clarke Investments, LLC.

Cloud Peak Energy's Antelope Mine customers
IEEFA

Tomorrow, July 25, is the last day Cloud Peak Energy will accept new bids to purchase its assets, which include Cordero Rojo and Antelope mines. The coal company filed for bankruptcy in May after cash difficulties that stem back to 2009.

money
CC0 Public Domain

The recently bankrupt coal giant Cloud Peak Energy is struggling to find short-term cash. The company initially got a loan for up to $35 million to stay operational through the bankruptcy process, but that well seems to have run dry.

Peabody Energy

Two of the largest coal producers are combining forces to better compete with natural gas and renewable energy. Peabody and Arch Coal are consolidating seven of their mines - five in Wyoming and two in Colorado. They hope to save over $800 million over the next decade, but await regulatory hurdles before sealing the deal. Wyoming Public Radio’s Cooper McKim talks to S & P Global Market Intelligence coal reporter Taylor Kuykendall. He explains what the collaboration means for the companies, the coal industry, and Wyoming going forward.

USGS

The recently bankrupt coal giant Cloud Peak is planning to sell off its assets next month. But a new deal between Arch Coal and Peabody Energy could throw a wrench in those plans.

Seal of the United States Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice

The Delaware court considering Cloud Peak Energy's bankruptcy has agreed to a final sale schedule for its assets. The timeline was postponed to next month after objections rolled in from the U.S. Trustees, shareholders, and reclamation bondholders.

A few of the many letters requesting an equity committee on Cloud Peak's court docket
Prime Clerk

More than 300 individuals who own stock in Cloud Peak Energy are looking for a seat at the table in the coal giant’s bankruptcy. Together, the group owns more than 24 percent of Cloud Peak's stock. The shareholders are asking the court to appoint an equity committee to represent their interests.

S & P Global Market Intelligence

Back in November, Cloud Peak Energy announced it would consider significant changes to its business. At the time, it was weighted down by nearly $400 million in debt and weakening coal sales. The company was open to a buy-out, a sale of one or all of its coal mines, or finding a way to push back its debt. But nothing worked out. So, on May 10, Cloud Peak had no choice but to go bankrupt.

Screenshot from Cloud Peak's bankruptcy docket page
Prime Clerk

COUNTY TAXES
Last Friday, Cloud Peak Energy chose not pay county taxes to Campbell County. It currently owes a lot - about $8 million. The recently bankrupt coal giant also owes Converse County several million in county taxes that contribute to education funds in addition to county services.

Cloud Peak's Gillette-based Cordero Rojo mine.
Cloud Peak Energy

One of the largest domestic coal companies has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Cloud Peak Energy warned of its financial problems in November of last year.

Cordero Rojo Mine Reclamation
Wyoming Mining Association

A struggling Powder River Basin coal company has put off two interest payments again. It will be the fourth extension. One is for debt due in 2021 and the other for 2024. Cloud Peak Energy negotiated with debt holders to put off paying until May 10. Past extensions have lasted a month, two weeks and one week.

Cloud Peak's Gillette-based Cordero Rojo mine.
Cloud Peak Energy

Cloud Peak Energy has worked with debt holders to secure its third extension on a $1.8 million interest payment on a debt that's due in 2024. The long-struggling Powder River Basin coal producer extended the termination date of an agreement to pay part of its debt to May 7. A default on the payment would likely trigger a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

Nolan Behnke

 

2018 was not a good year for Cloud Peak Energy, one of the largest U.S. coal companies that employs 1,300 people with two mines in Wyoming. It sold 15 percent less coal, Asian markets had plummeted for the resource, and the value of its stock fell by half. All that happened by October. That month, executives held a call with stock analysts. In the recording, Cloud Peak CEO Colin Marshall focused the conversation on weather challenges.

Cloud Peak's Antelope Mine
Cloud Peak Energy

Cloud Peak Energy is not filing for bankruptcy just yet. The Powder River Basin coal company got an extension on an interest payment today that was due last month. It should have defaulted yesterday, April 14, but a majority lender has given it an extension until May 1.

Cloud Peak Energy Logo
Cloud Peak Energy

On February 12, Cloud Peak Energy laid off 15 employees in higher level positions including public affairs. The company announced serious changes were coming last November after prolonged financial difficulties. Its strategic review could mean a potential sale of the company.

Cloud Peak Energy's share price over the course of a year
Seeking Alpha

The coal company Cloud Peak Energy filed a stockholder rights plan, more commonly known as a poison pill provision, with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week. It's a way of protecting management from a hostile takeover from a new investor. 

Cloud Peak Energy

Cloud Peak Energy has announced it will review "strategic alternatives". Basically, that means the coal producer is open to major changes, including a potential sale of the company in order to improve its financial situation. The move was announced alongside bonuses to executives encouraging them to stay on.

Market Summary of Cloud Peak Energy just after announcing its potential sale
Google Market Summary

Cloud Peak Energy, one of the largest coal producers in the country with two mines in Wyoming, announced today it will review strategic alternatives which include a potential sale of the company. The announcement comes after company stock shares hit a 52-week low today at $1.32. That’s nearly half of its value from this time last year.

Cloud Peak Energy logo
Cloud Peak Energy

One of Wyoming’s largest coal companies cut health care benefits for its retired workers. In its third quarter report released October 25, Cloud Peak Energy said the move will provide it with $19.4 million in net income. It was announced to employees in August. The report also recounted an approximately 15 percent reduction in coal shipments compared to Q3 last year. Coal has been costlier to remove from the ground due to additional overburden from digging deeper.

As the demand for coal continues to decline in the U.S., two companies with mines in Montana and Wyoming are saving money by cutting worker benefits.

Stephanie Joyce / Wyoming Public Radio

Things are looking up in the coal market, but 2017 is still going to be a tough year—that was the message from Cloud Peak Energy’s CEO during the company’s latest earnings calls.

Colin Marshall said a hot summer helped boost demand for coal domestically, as power plants ramped up to meet electricity demand for air conditioning. But the company’s coal shipments are still down by 26 percent from the same period last year.

Stephanie Joyce

The Army Corps of Engineers has released its environmental impact analysis for a port that would ship coal from Wyoming, Montana and Colorado to Asia. 

The Millennium Bulk terminal is the last remaining coal export terminal still proposed for the West Coast. Half a dozen terminals have fallen through in the face of collapsing international coal prices and fierce opposition from tribes and environmentalists in west coast states.

Stephanie Joyce

 

 

Glance at a satellite image of northeast Wyoming, and you can’t miss the coal mines. Even zoomed out, the square-cornered grey blotches stand out—stretching north to south over more than 70 miles. But if all goes according to plan, someday, when the mining is done, those scars will disappear, erased from the landscape by intensive reclamation efforts.

Stephanie Joyce

Record heat in much of the country is good news for the struggling coal industry. 

Hotter temperatures mean more people running their air conditioning, which in turn means more power plants burning more coal. 

“The hot start to summer has greatly improved the outlook, after a very slow first half [of the year],” said Colin Marshall, CEO of Cloud Peak Energy, one of the nation’s biggest coal producers, on an earnings call with investors. 

Stephanie Joyce / Wyoming Public Radio

New rules from the Department of the Interior aim to close what many have called a loophole in how federal coal resources are valued.

Most of the coal mined in Wyoming is owned by the federal government. Companies pay royalties for the right to mine that coal—in theory, 12.5 percent of the sale price.

American taxpayers are receiving less than they should from the sale of publicly-owned coal according to a report released by the White House today.

When coal companies mine federal coal, they pay a fee on each ton, a royalty payment. 

Stephanie Joyce

Earlier this year, on a conference call with investors, the head of one of the nation's largest coal companies shocked those tuned in with a frank admission.  Colin Marshall is CEO of Cloud Peak Energy:

"As we look forward, it is clear that the dynamics of the coal industry have permanently changed," he said. “Where coal used to provide baseload generation, it is now much more variable depending on power demand, renewable output, and the price of natural gas."

Stephanie Joyce

Wyoming needs to start planning for a lower-carbon future, according to panelists at a University of Wyoming discussion about the Clean Power Plan, an Obama administration rule that would cut carbon emissions from power plants.

The panel of coal and utility industry representatives and academics was largely critical of the rule, calling it a clumsy vehicle for carbon reduction. But at the same time, the panelists all agreed that with or without the rule, carbon reduction will happen. 

Stephanie Joyce / Wyoming Public Media

Cloud Peak Energy, one of Wyoming’s largest coal producers, reported a $205 million loss in 2015. 

"Clearly 2015 was a tough year for domestic coal producers with demand being driven down by anti-coal regulations and very low gas prices. Unfortunately, 2016 looks like it's going to be even tougher," Cloud Peak CEO Colin Marshall told investors on a conference call. 

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