Investigation of Contura Energy, Inc.

Contura Energy, Inc. (CTRA) Fails to Complete Blackjewel Transaction

In December 2017, Contura sold several of its mines and other assets to Blackjewel L.L.C, with Contura receiving deferred consideration of up to $50 million through various royalty payments and eliminating approximately $200 million in undiscounted reclamation obligations associated with the assets. Then, in November 2018, Contura merged with Alpha Natural Resources Holdings, Inc. and ANR, Inc. (the “Merger”), touting that the business combination would result in “robust competitive positioning in both domestic and international coal markets.” In the Merger’s registration statement, Contura acknowledged that failure to finalize permit transfers of its assets to Blackjewel “could materially and adversely affect the combined company’s business.” To help facilitate a successful permit transfer, the Merger agreement disclosed that Contura had agreed to backstop certain of Blackjewel’s bonding obligations and that Blackjewel would enter into financing by June 30, 2019, sufficient to release Contura ownership of the mines. However, on July 1, 2019, Blackjewel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy prior to the completion of the permit transfer, forcing Contura to repurchase the mines. Finally, in October 2019, Contura closed the sale of its reclaimed assets to Eagle Specialty Materials, LLC, with Contura paying $90 million to Eagle Specialty to acquire the mines and assume the related reclamation obligations. Before the Merger, shares of Contura were trading around $67 per share. Since then, Contura’s shares have dropped precipitously, currently trading at around $4 per share.

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