On October 2, 2019 coal producer Murray Energy announced by press release its intention not to pay principal and interest payments due on September 30, 2019. However, the company was also able to announce a majority of lenders under its most senior loan agreements agreed to “forbear”, or hold back from acting on the upcoming payment default. This is not much to write home about as the forbearance only lasts till October 14. We assume – as we wrote in an earlier update – that Murray will be using the extra time on the clock to complete its ongoing negotiations with stakeholders in an effort to keep from falling into involuntary bankruptcy proceedings.
For the 6 BDCs with $52.4mn invested at risk, this development does not move the valuation needle but suggests that some sort of resolution will be coming shortly. Very shortly. Judging by what little we know that will mean some sort of Realized Loss is likely, which is why Murray Energy is rated CCR 4 (Worry List), and could be at CCR 5 (Non Performing) within a fortnight. Back on September 13 we wrote that we expected to hear more about Murray Energy “before long”. After the latest news, the same prediction continues to apply.