October 18, 2010 / 11:54 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Massey directors mulling sale, other options-WSJ

* Options include sale, takeover, staying independent- WSJ

* Shares up 9.6 pct in after-hours trading

NEW YORK, Oct 18 (Reuters) - The directors of coal producer Massey Energy Co MEE.N are exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Massey’s board of directors formed a committee last week to evaluate Massey’s future, the newspaper said, citing a person familiar with the situation.

By mid-November, Massey could “be in detailed due diligence with one of the multiple options,” that person predicted, according to the Journal.

Massey’s options include a sale to another coal producer or a private-equity firm, an acquisition of another company or remaining independent, the Journal reported, citing those people.

A representative for Massey could not immediately be reached for comment.

Massey shares rose 9.6 percent after-hours from a close of $35.56 on Monday. At that closing price, Massey has a market value of $3.7 billion.

In April, 29 miners died in a blast in a section of Massey’s Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia, the worst U.S. coal mining accident in 40 years.

Massey in September forecast a third-quarter loss, saying production had fallen since the April blast. In July, the company reported a second-quarter loss, largely stemming from $128.9 million in charges related to the accident. (Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Gary Hill)

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