Court Approves USEC Disclosure Statement
- Chapter 11 process moves forward; Voting on Plan of Reorganization begins soon
- Subject to court approval, Company anticipates emerging from bankruptcy protection in September
BETHESDA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--USEC Inc. (NYSE:USU) announced that it will soon begin soliciting holders of USEC’s convertible notes as well as its two preferred stockholders for votes on the Company’s Plan of Reorganization following today’s hearing and order by Judge Christopher S. Sontchi in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
“We have made steady progress in recent months to restructure USEC and we anticipate emerging from Chapter 11 protection with an improved balance sheet”
USEC filed the Disclosure Statement describing the Plan of Reorganization with the court on March 5, 2014, and updated it on June 19. No objections were raised prior to today’s hearing. The solicitation package, including the Disclosure Statement and ballot, will be sent to those entitled to vote as of the record date of July 3, 2014. The deadline for voting is August 11.
The two classes of voting creditors will be asked to vote on the Plan of Reorganization during a 30-day voting period that is expected to begin July 12. USEC filed a pre-arranged case under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code on March 5. The Plan of Reorganization is supported by the holders of approximately 66 percent of the principal amount of the $530 million of notes outstanding. The Plan of Reorganization is also supported by the two holders of the Company’s preferred equity who will also be entitled to vote on the Plan of Reorganization. The holders of USEC’s common equity are assumed to have rejected the Plan and, thus, the votes of such holders will not be solicited during the upcoming period.
Following the voting period, the Plan of Reorganization is expected to be reviewed by the court at a confirmation hearing scheduled for September 5.
“We have made steady progress in recent months to restructure USEC and we anticipate emerging from Chapter 11 protection with an improved balance sheet,” said John K. Welch, USEC president and chief executive officer.
“We are taking many steps in advance of emerging as a restructured company. We are working closely with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to continue the demonstration of the American Centrifuge technology. Our Kentucky employees have done an outstanding job of preparing the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant for de-lease and return to the U.S. Department of Energy in October. And we continue our record of delivering low enriched uranium to our nuclear utility customers, on time and within specifications,” Welch said.
USEC Inc., a global energy company, is a leading supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 - that is, statements related to future events. In this context, forward-looking statements may address our expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “intends”, “plans”, “believes”, “will” and other words of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. For USEC, particular risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to the impact of and risks related to USEC Inc.'s “pre-arranged” case under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code including risks related to obtaining approval and confirmation of USEC Inc.’s plan of reorganization, the impact of any delay or inability in obtaining such confirmation, the impact of a potential de-listing of our common stock on the NYSE, and the impact of our restructuring on the holders of our common stock, preferred stock and convertible notes; risks related to the ongoing transition of our business, including the impact of our ceasing enrichment at the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant and uncertainty regarding our ability to deploy the American Centrifuge project; uncertainty regarding funding for the American Centrifuge project and the potential for a demobilization or termination of the American Centrifuge project if additional government funding is not provided during the term of the agreement with UT-Battelle, LLC, the management and operating contractor for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory ("ORNL") for continued research, development and demonstration of the American Centrifuge technology (the "ACTDO Agreement"), including for any option periods, or upon completion of such agreement; risks related to our ability to perform the work required under the ACTDO Agreement at a cost that does not exceed the firm fixed funding provided thereunder; the impact of actions we have taken or may take (including as a result of the reduction in scope of work under the ACTDO Agreement) to reduce spending on the American Centrifuge project, including the potential loss of key suppliers and employees, impacts to cost and schedule and the ability to remobilize for commercial deployment of the American Centrifuge plant, impacts on our liquidity as a result of demobilization or termination liabilities, and potential impacts on our proposed plan of reorganization; risks related to the underfunding of our defined benefit pension plans and potential actions the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation could pursue in connection with ceasing enrichment at the gaseous diffusion plants or with any demobilization or termination of the American Centrifuge project; the impact of uncertainty regarding our ability to continue as a going concern on our liquidity and prospects; our ability to implement the agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) regarding the transition of the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant and uncertainties regarding the transition costs and other impacts of USEC ceasing enrichment at the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant and returning the plant to DOE; the continued impact of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan on the nuclear industry and on our business, results of operations and prospects; the impact and potential extended duration of the current supply/demand imbalance in the market for low enriched uranium (“LEU”); the impact of enrichment market conditions, increased project costs and other factors on the economic viability of the American Centrifuge project without additional government support and on our ability to finance the project and the potential for a demobilization or termination of the project; uncertainty regarding our ability to achieve targeted performance over the life of the American Centrifuge Plant which could affect the overall economics of the American Centrifuge Plant; uncertainty concerning the ultimate success of our efforts to obtain a loan guarantee from DOE and/or other financing for the American Centrifuge project or additional government support for the project and the timing and terms thereof; the dependency of government funding or other government support for the American Centrifuge project on Congressional appropriations or on actions by DOE or Congress; potential changes in our anticipated ownership of or role in the American Centrifuge project, including as a result of our role as a subcontractor to ORNL or as a result of the need to raise additional capital to finance the project in the future; the potential for DOE to seek to terminate or exercise its remedies under the 2002 DOE-USEC agreement; changes in U.S. government priorities and the availability of government funding or support, including loan guarantees; risks related to our ability to manage our liquidity without a credit facility; our dependence on deliveries of LEU from Russia under a commercial supply agreement (the “Russian Supply Agreement”) with a Russian government entity known as Techsnabexport (“TENEX”) and limitations on our ability to import the Russian LEU we buy under the Russian Supply Agreement into the United States and other countries; risks related to actions that may be taken by the U.S. Government, the Russian Government or other governments that could affect our ability or the ability of TENEX to perform the Russian Supply Agreement, including the imposition of sanctions, restrictions or other requirements; risks related to our ability to sell the LEU we procure under our fixed purchase obligations under the Russian Supply Agreement; the decrease or elimination of duties charged on imports of foreign-produced LEU; pricing trends and demand in the uranium and enrichment markets and their impact on our profitability; movement and timing of customer orders; changes to, or termination of, our agreements with the U.S. government; risks related to delays in payment for our contract services work performed for DOE, including our ability to resolve certified claims for payment filed by USEC under the Contracts Dispute Act; the impact of government regulation by DOE and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; the outcome of legal proceedings and other contingencies (including lawsuits and government investigations or audits); the competitive environment for our products and services; changes in the nuclear energy industry; the impact of volatile financial market conditions on our business, liquidity, prospects, pension assets and credit and insurance facilities; the timing of recognition of previously deferred revenue; and other risks and uncertainties discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, which are available on our website usec.com. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements except as required by law.