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Patriot Coal to exit bankruptcy on Dec. 18

Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 | 12:21 PM ET

Dec 17 (Reuters) - Patriot Coal Corp said it would emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday, after months of wrangling with its unionized workforce and former parent Peabody Energy Corp over cost cuts.

Patriot declared bankruptcy in July 2012, saying it needed to cut $150 million a year in employment costs to return to profit.

"This marks the final step in Patriot's financial restructuring," Chief Executive Bennett Hatfield said in a statement on Tuesday.

The company, which produces coal for both steel and power industries, received court permission earlier this year to scrap collective bargaining agreements with its union and draw up new, cost-saving contracts.

The United Mine Workers of America, which represents about 13,000 Patriot workers and retirees, reluctantly agreed to the new contracts.

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