Largest Coal Miner In America Files For Chapter 11 Protection

Peabody Energy Corp. filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, the most powerful convulsion yet in an industry that’s still waiting for the coal market to bottom out.

The company is seeking to reorganize U.S. operations in federal court in its hometown of St. Louis, reducing an estimated $10.1 billion in debt, according to court filings. It’s the biggest U.S. corporate bankruptcy this year by liabilities, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The outcome of the case may turn on what trajectory coal prices take over the course of the reorganization, with battles over environmental obligations and non-bankrupt Australian operations complicating matters, according to analysts and environmental activists.