23 Oct 2013

Solid Energy still not out of the woods

7:49 am on 23 October 2013

A showdown is looming over an $80 million debt which could lead to the collapse of state coal miner Solid Energy.

The debt is owed to a Japanese bank, which has rejected a rescue deal signed by several other banks.

The deal involves special Government loans and banks swapping some of their debt for partial ownership of Solid Energy via non-voting preference shares.

However, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi has not agreed to the deal and has filed court action to recover its money.

Solid Energy is not commenting except to confirm it has a date for a court hearing.

Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed Solid Energy will have to be put into receivership if the deal is scuppered in court, and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi will lose its money.

The company's board has welcomed the deal that has been reached with the other banks but is not commenting further because of the possible court action.