UPDATE 1-Peabody reaches deal with New York AG on climate disclosures

Mon Nov 9, 2015 11:03am EST
 
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Nov 9 (Reuters) - Peabody Energy Corp, the biggest U.S. coal miner, said on Monday it had reached an agreement with the New York Attorney General's office to amend its climate change disclosures, bringing to an end an eight-year investigation.

News of the agreement comes days after reports that state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was probing Exxon Mobil Corp over whether the oil company had misled the public and shareholders about the perils of climate change.

Schneiderman subpoenaed Exxon on Nov. 4, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents, a source familiar with the investigation told Reuters.

Peabody, whose shares were up 5 percent at $15.27 in morning trading, said there was no other action associated with the settlement, no admission or denial of wrongdoing, and no financial penalty.

The company had denied it had the ability to project the impact of increased climate change regulation on its business, even though it had internally made projections that such regulation would have severe impact on its business, a statement from Schneiderman's office said. (on.ny.gov/1SDupOG)

Peabody, like other coal miners, has been hit by weak coal prices, and its shares have lost more than 90 percent of their value in the past 12 months.

The company will file revised disclosures with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Schneiderman's office said.

The disclosures affirm that "concerns about the environmental impacts of coal combustion ... could significantly affect demand for our products or our securities," the attorney-general's office said. (Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sayantani Ghosh and Ted Kerr)