Regulatory approval of asset sale clears the way for Solid Energy liquidation

28/07/2017

Solid Energy is pleased that BT Mining Limited has received approval from the Overseas Investment Office for the purchase of the Stockton export coal operation and the two Waikato mines, Rotowaro and Maramarua, and looks forward to settling the transaction at the end of August.

Solid Energy Chief Executive Tony King said that this milestone represents the last major transaction in the company’s asset sale process and effectively signals the beginning of the company’s wind down process as it heads into solvent liquidation.

“Once the sale of these assets to BT Mining is concluded we will be progressively completing remaining operational and administrative activities by December 2017 prior to the company going into liquidation by March 2018,” said Mr King.

Mr King said that the liquidation of Solid Energy has been the planned outcome since the company entered a Deed of Company Arrangement with creditors in September 2015. That arrangement has seen the company’s land, mines and other assets sold to a range of purchasers.

Ends

For further information:

Mr Tony King, Chief Executive, Solid Energy New Zealand

Tel: +64 3 345 6000

Background – Solid Energy Asset Sales Process

Solid Energy entered Voluntary Administration in August 2015 after the directors concluded that the company had no realistic prospect of refinancing significant debt.

Under the Deed of Company Arrangement agreed with creditors in September 2015 the directors are responsible for running an orderly sell down process to sell the assets of the company. All land, mines and other assets were offered for sale either as a whole or in parts, presenting an opportunity for those assets that are economically viable to continue trading under new ownership; delivering the best outcome for creditors and staff.

The company has placed significant focus through the asset sales programme on securing the path forward for the assets and facilitating employment opportunities for staff.

Asset Sales Progress

In October 2016 Solid Energy announced that sale and purchase agreements had been signed for the Stockton export coal operation; the two Waikato mines, Rotowaro and Maramarua; New Vale and Ohai coal mines in Southland, and Strongman, Liverpool and the Reefton mines on the West Coast.

Settlement for the Ohai and New Vale mines was reached in April with all of the mines’ employees and operations transferring to the new owner Greenbriar.

Settlement was also reached in April with Birchfield Coal Mines for the purchase of the Strongman mine, the Island Block project, the Mt Davy/Liverpool permit, and the Reefton coal distribution centre.

BT Mining, a joint venture of Bathurst Resources and Talleys Energy Limited, is currently progressing through the required regulatory approvals for the purchase of the Stockton export coal operation and the two Waikato mines Rotowaro and Maramarua, and is expected to settle on August 31.

The sale of Reefton Mine to Moore Mining is also currently progressing and is expected to be completed during August. Spring Creek is the only mine in Solid Energy’s asset sales portfolio that has not sold and the closure of the mine is currently underway.