BIRMINGHAM, AL -- (Marketwire) -- 03/11/13 -- Walter Energy Inc. (NYSE: WLT) (TSX: WLT) today began mailing the proxy statement for its Annual Meeting of Shareholders scheduled for April 25, 2013. In addition, Michael T. Tokarz, Chairman of the Board, and Walter J. Scheller, III, Chief Executive Officer and Director, sent a letter to all Walter Energy shareholders outlining progress made in executing the Company's strategy to achieve profitable growth in anticipation of the recovery of met coal prices.
"The Board and management are intensely focused on maximizing the value of your investment in the Company," Messrs. Tokarz and Scheller state in the letter. "Moreover, we are committed to pursuing operational and financial initiatives that will support and accelerate our efforts -- including, if value creating, further reducing production at any underperforming mines and exploring non-core asset sales."
Text of letter from Messrs. Tokarz and Scheller to Walter Energy shareholders:
March 11, 2013
Dear Fellow Walter Energy Shareholders:
Your Board, together with your Company's new senior management team, has made significant progress in executing a new strategic course for Walter Energy. We have created a geographically diversified, high-quality metallurgical (met) coal company and have overseen a significant increase in the production at our mines. Moreover, we have accomplished these objectives while taking decisive steps to materially reduce our operating costs in the context of navigating a challenging cyclical trough in met coal demand and pricing. As a result of these initiatives, the Company and its shareholders are well positioned to benefit fully from the anticipated recovery of the met coal market.
At our April 25th Annual Meeting, you will have the opportunity to re-elect the Board of Directors of Walter Energy. We encourage you to vote today by telephone, by Internet, or by signing and dating the enclosed WHITE proxy card and returning it in the postage-paid envelope provided.
The Board and management are intensely focused on maximizing the value of your investment in the Company. We believe the disciplined execution of Walter Energy's business plan by our talented and experienced management team has put the Company on course to achieve this objective. Moreover, we are committed to pursuing operational and financial initiatives that will support and accelerate our efforts -- including, if value creating, further reducing production at any underperforming mines and exploring non-core asset sales.
Our progress should not be interrupted by the efforts of Julian Treger's U.K. hedge fund, Audley Capital, which, with less than 1% of the Company's shares and no articulated plans for delivering shareholder value, has said it intends to seek 50% of the Company's Board seats.
We do not believe it is in our shareholders' best interest to risk jeopardizing our strong operational momentum as our efforts gain traction. Your Board has been instrumental in driving and supporting Walter Energy's new leadership and business initiatives. Now is not the time for change to our Company's leadership that could derail that progress.
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