UK Coal on the brink

THE future of Britain’s largest coal miner is in the hands of shareholders, who are meeting today to vote on a restructuring plan for UK Coal.

Noel Dyson

The plan has been described as a debt-for-equity swap with its pension fund that would bring about £80 million ($US128 million) in financial support to the end of 2015.

The board believes if this restructuring is allowed to proceed it would have sufficient resources to keep going for the foreseeable future.

However, it warns that if a shareholder meeting fails to back the company’s plan it risks closing for good.

The company operates three deep mines in England and employs about 2500 people.

Part of the change the company’s board wants to implement involves changing it from a premium to a standard-listed company.

This would allow it to make changes without them having to be signed off by shareholders every time.

In a note to the market, UK Coal said that since its interim results on August 10, the price of coal had continued to decline.

Coupled with production problems, this had altered its mining division’s long-term prospects.

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