Skip to content
Subscriber Only

A Coal Producer Just Bought Back His Family's Business for 99% Less Than He Sold It For

Fifteen barges together holding 30,000 tons of coal before making their way down the Ohio River in West Virginia, on Oct. 23, 2012.
Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg
Updated on

A West Virginia businessman bought back a coal producer once owned by his family for less than 1 percent of what he sold it for in 2009, a startling indication of how radically the market for the commodity has worsened in that time.

The family of Jim Justice paid $5 million for several mining sites and processing plants in southern West Virginia previously owned by Russia’s OAO Mechel. The family sold Bluestone Coal Corp. in 2009 for a combination of cash and Mechel stock in a deal valued at $568 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.