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Parsons Behle & Latimer Deal Closes Making Client Navajo Transitional Energy Company Third-Largest U.S. Coal Producer
October 24, 2019

Today, the corporate transaction that Parsons Behle & Latimer (Parsons) was instrumental in negotiating and structuring between client Navajo Transitional Energy Company LLC, (NTEC) and Cloud Peak Energy Company Inc (Cloud Peak) closed. The transaction, which received bankruptcy court approval Aug.19, and final court approval Oct. 22, 2019, empowers NTEC to purchase all Cloud Peak mining assets, making NTEC the third-largest coal producer in the country. Since the Aug. 19, initial sale order approval, NTEC has worked with Cloud Peak and its creditors to produce a seamless transition.

NTEC has assumed ownership of the Powder River Basin, Wyoming Antelope and Cordero Rojo mines, which are the third-and fifth-largest coal mines in the country, respectively as well as the Spring Creek mine in Montana. Through the bankruptcy buyout, the assets were acquired free of significant debt burdens. NTEC says it will return the Montana and Wyoming mines to profitability while retaining employees and sustaining taxes and royalties to the regions. The mines employ approximately 1,200 employees and provide $230 million in taxes and royalties to their respective states.

Nora R. Pincus, Parsons’ lead attorney on the project says, “We had very positive expectations for this closing. Our client has a strong history of environmental stewardship and successful business oversight. This venture will be no different. We look forward to their continued success with these mines and are pleased that this complex transaction ended well for our client, for the environment and for the respective regional economies.”

The Parsons team included Bruce H. White and Michael R. Brown, who provided strategic guidance on the bankruptcy, financing and corporate structuring aspects of the transaction; Kevin W. Johnson, who handled the significant mining, HSR and merger and acquisition issues; Joseph “J.D.” Kesler and Shane L. Hanna who handled many of the core corporate transaction issues; Matthew D. Cook and Emily D. Holt on indenture financing and legal opinion matters. Others assisting with the transaction included A. Bradley Randall, Christina M. Jepson, Didi Bowles and Madeline Malmquist. Parsons also worked closely with Schwabe, Williams and Wyatt who managed the regulatory and permitting matters as well as advising on Native American law issues.

Since 1882, Parsons has been a legal service leader in the mining industry, and today, is one of the most experienced natural resource management and corporate transaction law firms in the U.S.

NTEC is a wholly-owned limited liability company of the Navajo Nation, which owns and operates the Navajo Mine, located on the Navajo Nation, south of Farmington, New Mexico. NTEC’s mission, emphasizes being a reliable, safe producer of coal while diversifying the Nation’s energy resources to create economic and environmental sustainability for the Navajo people. The Navajo Mine has been supplying coal to the Four Corners Power Plant for the past 50 years.