Wyoming-based Cloud Peak Energy, one of the largest coal companies in the country, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after racking up debt in the millions of dollars, driven in part by a tepid exports market, according to a report by Wyoming Public Media.
The company warned investors of its dire financial state in November of last year. In March, the New York Stock Exchange notified the company it would commence the process to delist its common stock due to its “abnormally low” price levels.
Analysts referenced by Wyoming Public Media say heavy investment into exports was an important driver behind its bankruptcy.
Clark Williams-Derry, director of energy finance at environmental think tank Sightline Institute, said the company’s big bets into Asian exports didn’t work out. “Those bets ultimately blew up the company. Asian coal prices collapsed, and Cloud Peak’s investments in export projects turned into hundreds of millions of dollars in losses,” said Williams-Derry.
The company asked for 4 extensions on its debt payments in the past two months. It is now looking to sell its three mines in Wyoming and Montana.
The announcement comes days after Trump announced a tariff hike on over $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, a move that will likely result in retaliatory measures from Beijing.
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