March 11 SunCoke Energy Inc, which
produces coke used in steelmaking, said it plans to sell its
coal mines and transfer its domestic coke business to its master
SunCoke said it would initially transfer a 33 percent
interest in its Haverhill and Middletown cokemaking facilities
in Ohio to SunCoke Energy Partners LP.
A master limited partnership is a tax-friendly structure
that pays out most of its cash flow to shareholders.
Coal companies have been hit by weak demand from steelmakers
that has led to a steep fall in prices.
Revenue from Suncoke's coal mining operations fell 15
percent to $47 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31,
accounting for about 12 percent of total revenue.
"While our coal mining team has delivered significant
improvement in productivity, safety and production costs, we
believe shareholder value will increase if we exit this
business," SunCoke Chief Executive Fritz Henderson said in a
statement on Tuesday.
The company has hired an adviser for the sale, he said.
Suncoke's coal mining operations, which have more than 110
million tons of proven and probable reserves, are located in
Virginia and West Virginia.
Apart from the two coke plants to be initially transferred
to the MLP, the company has plants in Virginia, Indiana and
Illinois as well as in Brazil and India.
SunCoke Energy's shares closed at $23.01 on Monday on the
New York Stock Exchange, while SunCoke Energy Partners closed at