Statement Of Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) Regarding Patriot Coal Counterclaim
ST. LOUIS, Sept. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Peabody today asked the bankruptcy court to confirm the termination of our contractual obligation to fund certain of Patriot Coal's retiree healthcare benefits.
Under Patriot Coal's new labor agreements with the UMWA, its obligation to pay healthcare benefits for its retirees will terminate by January 1, 2014. Under the terms of Peabody's contract with Patriot, our obligation to fund certain of Patriot's retiree healthcare liabilities will terminate at the same time.
After Patriot's obligations to provide retiree healthcare benefits end, a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) will provide healthcare benefits to Patriot retirees.
Despite the impending conclusion of Peabody's contractual obligations to fund Patriot's liabilities, Peabody has made several offers to contribute substantial funding to the newly-established VEBA. Unfortunately, the UMWA has continued to grandstand, and will have to explain to its members why it chooses to posture while denying them significantly greater retiree healthcare benefits.
The UMWA's unreasonable position has left Peabody with no plausible avenue but to protect our legal rights.
SOURCE Peabody Energy