Patriot Coal CEO Whiting leaves company

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St. Louis , May 29, 2012 —Patriot Coal Corp. announced CEO is leaving the company.

The announcement comes as concerns rise that the mining company could run short on cash. Last week Patriot announced that it is working with private equity firm The Blackstone Group and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP to secure a financing package.

Investors are concerned that the St. Louis company will not be able to secure a $625 million loan before it must repay older loans by next March.

The coal producer named Chairman Irl F. Engelhardt as Whiting's successor. Engelhardt, 65, will continue to lead the company's board.

Patriot also named COO Bennett Hatfield to the additional role of president. The 55-year-old will be responsible for overseeing the execution of the company's operations, sales and marketing plans.

The company recently lowered its sales volume and price estimates for coal used to make steel, citing a potential customer default.

The company did not say why Whiting is leaving. He had been president and CEO since 2007.
Shares of Patriot gained three cents to $2.49 in premarket trading.

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