MARKETS

Alpha completes funding changes

COAL producer Alpha Natural Resources has won some financial flexibility to better help it navigate the difficult currents facing the metallurgical and steaming coal markets.

Noel Dyson
Alpha completes funding changes

The company has increased the amount of its credit facility from $1.6 billion to $1.725 billion.

The amended and restated credit agreement includes a $625 million covenant lite senior secured term loan B facility that matures on May 22, 2020.

The proceeds of the term loan B facility will be used to repay the entire $525 million aggregate principal amount of Alpha’s obligations under its existing term loan A facility that matures June 30 2016.

The balance will be used to pay fees and expenses for general corporate purposes.

The amended and restated credit agreement, among other revisions, provides for an increased senior secured revolving facility from $1 billion to $1.1 billion that matures June 30 2016.

Financial maintenance ratios applicable to the revolving facility also have been revised. This includes relaxation of the interest coverage ratio from 2.25 times to 1.5 times through 2013; from 2.5 times to 1.5 times during 2014; and 2.5 times to 2 times from 2015 through the maturity date of the revolving facility.

In addition, the leveraged ratio covenant has been removed while the senior secured leverage ratio of 2.5 times has been extended through the maturity date of the revolving facility.

The minimum liquidity requirement, which is applicable to the revolving facility through the end of 2014 has been reduced from $500 million to $300 million.

Alpha also has terminated its accounts receivable securitization facility, which provides for the issuance of letters of credit in a maximum aggregate amount of $275 million.

Letters of credit outstanding under the facility as of May 22, in a total amount of about $160 million, were transferred to the amended and restated credit agreement and are deemed to be issued thereunder.

The termination of the receivables facility allows Alpha to pledge its receivables to the secured parties under the amended and restated credit agreement.

“The amendment and restatement of our secured credit facility and the convertible senior notes transaction completed last week have extended the maturities of more than $900 million of Alpha’s debt,” Alpha chief financial officer Frank Wood said.

“We have relaxed the financial covenants under our secured credit facility for the remaining term of the facility and we retain our revolving credit facility.

“These proactive transactions provide Alpha with continued financial flexibility as we manage through the current challenging markets for metallurgical and steam coals.”

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