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Judge allows Patriot reorganization plan to move forward

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Patriot Coal Corp.'s plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection took another step Nov. 6 when the judge hearing the case confirmed that the company's disclosure statement contains the information necessary to enable creditors to vote on its reorganization plan.

Patriot said it will immediately begin the process of soliciting votes on its reorganization plan.

The court also authorized Patriot to move forward with its rights offerings. The court also approved an agreement with leading financial institutions Barclays and Deutsche Bank to arrange new exit financing and post-emergence credit facilities of $576 million. In addition, the court approved Patriot's settlements with Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Coal.

"Today's actions by the court represent important milestones on Patriot's path to emergence as a strong, well-capitalized competitor in the coal industry," Patriot President and CEO Bennett K. Hatfield said in a statement released Nov. 6.

"We remain on schedule for emergence from bankruptcy in mid to late December."