According to the complaint, Alpha Natural is one of the largest coal suppliers in the United States, operating dozens of mines and several coal preparation plants throughout Northern and Central Appalachia and elsewhere. In addition to producing, processing, and selling its own coal, Alpha Natural also sells coal produced by others. Massey was also a large coal mining and producing company in the United States, especially in Central Appalachia. Massey produced, processed, and sold its own coal. One of Alpha Natural's largest and most important coal mines was its Emerald mine, located in southwestern Pennsylvania.
On or about January 28, 2011, Alpha Natural and Massey reached an agreement whereby Alpha Natural would acquire all outstanding shares of Massey common stock. Under the terms of the Merger, Massey shareholders would receive 1.025 shares of Alpha Natural common stock, plus an additional $10 per share of Massey common stock they owned. The Merger was completed on June 1, 2011.
The complaint alleges that prior to the Merger, Alpha Natural's Registration Statement and other documents made available to the public either did not disclose any problems at the Emerald mine at all, or significantly downplayed them. The Company did this despite the fact that it knew, or should have known, that the problems at Emerald would have a substantial, negative impact on Alpha Natural's business, revenues, and stock price.
As the extent of the Emerald mine problems became public, the price of Alpha
Natural common stock began to decline dramatically. On January 28, 2011, the date the planned Merger was announced, Alpha Natural common stock traded at $57.88 per share. On the date the Merger was completed, June 1, 2011, Alpha Natural common stock traded at $53.40 per share. By September 22, 2011, when the problems at the Emerald mine were widely public, Alpha Natural common stock was down to $19.80 per share. The stock has continued its dramatic descent and was recently trading at approximately $7.50 per share. This represents a total decline of approximately eighty-seven percent.
On October 18, 2012, the Plaintiffs filed a Notice voluntarily dismissing this action without prejudice as to certain defendants.
On November 5, 2012, the Court issued an Order granting the plaintiff's Motion to Remand, and this case was ordered Remanded to the Circuit Court of Boone County.