ST. LOUIS, Sept. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Peabody (NYSE: BTU) announced today that it successfully completed an amendment of its Senior Secured Term Loan to lower the interest rate and modify terms to provide additional financial and operational flexibility, including for share repurchases and dividends.
"Today's announcement reflects yet another positive step in further strengthening our capital structure and executing on the priorities we outlined in August," said Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Amy Schwetz. "Building on our recent 15 percent voluntary reduction in debt, this amendment further reduces fixed charges and provides greater financial flexibility to execute share repurchases and pay dividends in line with our previously announced capital return initiatives."
The company's Senior Secured Term Loan will now bear interest at a rate of LIBOR plus 3.50 percent, with a LIBOR floor of 1.00 percent, reflecting a reduction of 1.00 percent. Certain terms were also modified, including the addition of a $450 million restricted payments basket to be utilized for payments of cash dividends, purchases of the company's stock or similar distributions, among other items.
Together, the impact of the interest rate reduction and $300 million voluntary debt repayments Peabody completed in the third quarter are expected to reduce annual cash interest expense by approximately $23 million on a pro forma basis.
Peabody is the world's largest private-sector coal company. The company is also a leading voice in advocating for sustainable mining, energy access and clean coal technologies. Peabody serves metallurgical and thermal coal customers in more than 25 countries on five continents. For further information, visit PeabodyEnergy.com.
Certain statements included in this release are forward-looking as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company uses words such as "anticipate," "believe," "expect," "may," "forecast," "project," "should," "estimate," "plan," "outlook," "target," "likely," "will," "to be" or other similar words to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date the release was issued and are based on numerous assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable, but these assumptions are open to a wide range of uncertainties and business risks that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. These factors are difficult to accurately predict and may be beyond the Company's control. Such factors include, but are not limited to those described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 filed with the SEC on March 22, 2017, as amended on July 10, 2017 and August 14, 2017, and in Exhibit 99.2 to the Company's Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on April 11, 2017, as well as other filings the Company may make from time to time with the SEC. Factors that could affect the Company's results or an investment in its securities include but are not limited to: competition in the energy market and supply and demand for the Company's products, including the impact of alternative energy sources, such as natural gas and renewables; global steel demand and its downstream impact on metallurgical coal prices, and lower demand for the Company's products by electric power generators; customer procurement practices and contract duration; the impact of weather and natural disasters on demand, production and transportation; reductions and/or deferrals of purchases by major customers and the Company's ability to renew sales contracts; credit and performance risks associated with customers, suppliers, contract miners, co-shippers, and trading, bank and other financial counterparties; geologic, equipment, permitting, site access, operational risks and new technologies related to mining; transportation availability, performance and costs; availability, timing of delivery and costs of key supplies, capital equipment or commodities such as diesel fuel, steel, explosives and tires; impact of take-or-pay arrangements for rail and port commitments for the delivery of coal; successful implementation of business strategies, including, without limitation, the actions we are implementing to improve the Company's organization and respond to current conditions; negotiation of labor contracts, employee relations and workforce availability, including, without limitation, attracting and retaining key personnel; changes in post-retirement benefit and pension obligations and their related funding requirements; replacement and development of coal reserves; uncertainties in estimating the Company's coal reserves; effects of changes in interest rates and currency exchange rates (primarily the Australian dollar); the Company's ability to successfully consummate acquisitions or divestitures, and the resulting effects thereof; economic strength and political stability of countries in which we have operations or serve customers; legislation, regulations and court decisions or other government actions, including, but not limited to, new environmental and mine safety requirements, changes in income tax regulations, sales-related royalties, or other regulatory taxes and changes in derivative laws and regulations; the Company's ability to obtain and renew permits necessary for the Company's operations; the Company's ability to appropriately secure the Company's requirements for reclamation, federal and state workers' compensation, federal coal leases and other obligations related to the Company's operations, including the Company's ability to utilize self-bonding and/or successfully access the commercial surety bond market; litigation or other dispute resolution, including, but not limited to, claims not yet asserted; terrorist attacks or security threats, including, but not limited to, cybersecurity breaches; impacts of pandemic illnesses; any lack of an established market for certain of the Company's securities, including the Company's preferred stock, and potential dilution of the Company's common stock; price volatility in the Company's securities; short-sales in the Company's securities; any conflicts of interest between the Company's significant shareholders and other holders of the Company's capital stock; the Company's ability to generate sufficient cash to service all of the Company's indebtedness; the Company's debt instruments and capital structure placing certain limits on the Company's ability to pay dividends and repurchase capital stock; the Company's ability to comply with financial and other restrictive covenants in various agreements, including the Company's debt instruments; and other risks detailed in the Company's reports filed with the SEC. The Company does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements except as required by law.
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