James River Coal Misses Debt Payment

James River Coal Co., an unprofitable U.S. producer of the fuel, missed an interest payment as it continues to evaluate options including a possible sale of the company.

James River won’t make the payment due today on its 3.125 percent convertible notes due 2018, the Richmond, Virginia-based company said today in a filing. The company said it’s entitled to a 30-day grace period in which to make the payment before a default is deemed to have occurred. James River also delayed its annual 10-K filing and won’t host an investor call to discuss fourth-quarter results.

The company said last month it hired Perella Weinberg Partners LP as a restructuring adviser, Deutsche Bank AG as its mergers and acquisitions adviser and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as legal adviser. Other options being evaluated include issuing debt and selling equity.

James River idled three of its eight mining complexes in the second half of last year and hasn’t posted an annual net profit since 2010. It’s among U.S. coal producers suffering amid a decline in the price of the commodity. Booming natural gas output from shale rock in recent years has spurred some electric utilities to switch to using gas. Meanwhile rising Australian output of metallurgical coal, which is used in steelmaking, has helped create a global surplus and depressed prices.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sonja Elmquist in New York at selmquist1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net Will Wade

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