Alpha Natural Resources and Massey Energy signed a definitive agreement under which Alpha will acquire all outstanding shares of Massey common stock for approximately $8.5 billion. The merger will bring together Alpha's and Massey's highly complementary assets, which include more than 110 mines and combined coal reserves of approximately 5 billion tons, including one of the world’s largest and highest-quality metallurgical coal reserve bases. Alpha and Massey believe the new entity will be well positioned to capitalize on strong global demand trends for coal, including the metallurgical coal used in the steel-manufacturing process.

Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to close in mid-2011, Alpha and Massey stockholders will own approximately 54% and 46% of the combined company, respectively. The combination is expected to permit Alpha and Massey to benefit from geographical and asset diversification, including operations and reserves in Central and Northern Appalachia, the Illinois Basin and the Powder River Basin in Wyoming.