Is Now the Time for This Coal Miner to Come Public?

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Contura Energy has registered an amended S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its initial public offering (IPO). Although it’s far from a unicorn valuation, the fact that this is a coal company looking to come public is incredibly rare.

We’ve noted in the past that the coal industry has been absolutely beat down in recent memory, with more companies consolidating or getting out of the business than entering. So again it is very surprising to see a coal company come forward and file to be publicly traded, considering the industry’s history.

No pricing details were given in the filing but the offering is valued up to $100 million, although this number is usually just a placeholder. The company intends to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CTRA.

The underwriters for the offering are Citigroup, Jefferies, Credit Suisse, UBS Investment Bank, Barclays, BMO Capital Markets and Seaport Global Securities.

This is a large-scale, diversified provider of metallurgical and steam coal to a global customer base. It operates high-quality, cost-competitive coal mines across three major U.S. coal basins, complemented by a robust Trading and Logistics business.

Contura’s portfolio of mining operations consists of six mining complexes, comprised of nine underground mines, four surface mines and four coal preparation plants. In 2016, it sold 4.0 million tons of met coal from mines in central and northern Appalachia and 41.1 million tons of steam coal from mines in central and northern Appalachia and the Powder River Basin.

In the three months ended March 31, 2017, Contura sold 1.1 million tons of met coal from mines in central and northern Appalachia, as well as 10.9 million tons of steam coal from mines in these three plays.

Contura’s Trading and Logistics business focuses on the sale of third-party coal into the international market. From the acquisition of its assets on July 26, 2016, through December 31, 2016, the Trading and Logistics business sold 1.5 million tons of met coal. In the three months ended March 31, 2017, this unit sold 1.1 million tons of met coal.

The strategic cornerstone of this business is its 65.0% interest in Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA), a coal export terminal. DTA provides the firm with the ability to fulfill a broad range of customer coal quality requirements through coal blending, while also providing storage capacity and transportation flexibility.

The company will not receive any proceeds from this offering. Instead the selling stockholders will receive all the proceeds.