United Coal Company Has New Investors

John and Joe Gregory Invest in UCC

Jan 31, 2006, 00:00 ET from United Coal Company

    BRISTOL, Va., Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Jim McGlothlin and United Coal
 Company achieved the dream of becoming one of the largest coal companies in
 the country. John and Joe Gregory attained similar success in the
 pharmaceutical industry.
     In addition to their vast corporate success, the three Bristol
 philanthropists have another commonality -- each has shown a keen investment
 interest in the other's company.
     While McGlothlin's investment in King Pharmaceuticals occurred nearly a
 decade ago, Bristol, Va.-based United Coal has allowed outside investors, the
 Gregorys, to take an ownership share of the company for the first time in its
     "When we invested in King Pharmaceuticals, we had confidence in John, Joe
 and their management team, and that helped The United Company grow even more
 successful," said McGlothlin, chairman and CEO of The United Company, United
 Coal's parent. "The relationship with John and Joe worked so very well then,
 and I see this as a true dream partnership."
     McGlothlin began United Coal in 1970 and sold it in 1997. In 2004, he
 restarted the company and began to rebuild it after hiring Michael Zervos as
 chief executive officer in April 2005. In less than one year, United Coal,
 under the guidance of McGlothlin and Zervos, has developed proven recoverable
 coal reserves in excess of 165 million tons and is on track to produce more
 than 6 million clean tons of coal annually.
     "Jim has a remarkable understanding of the coal industry," said John
 Gregory, managing partner and CEO of SJ Strategic Investments LLC,
 headquartered in Bristol, Tenn. "He demonstrated that when he built UCC the
 first time. Now that he has re-entered the coal business, I am confident he
 can do it again. He has a solid plan, a great management team led by Mike
 Zervos, a track record of success and a stellar reputation."
     All of these men built their success from small operations -- and
 diversified into other areas.
     "John and Joe bring more than a capital investment to UCC," McGlothlin
 said. "They bring proven business acumen and experience that ranges from
 founding a company to a successful public offering, while remaining excellent
 corporate citizens."
     All are well-known philanthropists and community supporters.
     "Jim focuses not just on the people who work in the company but on the
 entire community," said Joe Gregory, managing partner and CEO of Gregory
 Energy Partners, LLC. "Additionally, the company has an exemplary safety
 record and a strong commitment to continue this impressive record. This is
 important to the Gregorys, as we know it has been to Jim and everyone at
 United Coal.
     "As our companies grow, our philosophies of remaining tied to our
 communities and supporting them mesh. The potential growth at United Coal is
 certainly very attractive based on what has happened in the past year."
     Since its resurgence, UCC has purchased several companies and now operates
 four subsidiaries: Carter Roag Coal Company, Elkins, W.Va.; Sapphire Coal
 Company, Isom, Ky.; Pocahontas Coal Company, Beckley, W.Va.; and Wellmore Coal
 Company, Big Rock, Va.
     UCC is a privately held company with subsidiaries in West Virginia,
 Virginia and Eastern Kentucky.  The majority shareholder is The United
 Company, a diversified holding company headquartered in Bristol, Va.
     Gregory Energy Partners is a private, family-owned company headquartered
 in Bristol, Tenn. focusing primarily on investments in domestic natural
 resources and energy development.
     SJ Strategic Investments is a private, family-owned investment vehicle
 with a diverse portfolio of public and private investments. SJ is managed by
 John and Joan Gregory, their daughter, Susan, and son, James.
     For more information contact:
     Michael Zervos or Brian D. Sullivan

SOURCE United Coal Company