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ZEIGLER COAL HOLDING COMPANY COMPLETES ITS PURCHASE OF SHELL MINING COMPANY

 HOUSTON, Nov. 23 ~PRNewswire~ -- Zeigler Coal Holding Company and Shell Oil Company announced today that Zeigler has completed its acquisition of Shell's coal mining subsidiary, Shell Mining Company.
 Specific details of the purchase were not released, but the parties did state that Zeigler has acquired all the stock of Shell Mining Company, whose name has been changed to SMC Mining Company. Its subsidiaries operate seven active coal producing complexes in Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Wyoming, along with export~import terminals in Virginia and South Carolina.
 In addition to a cash payment, Shell also received a significant but minority interest in Zeigler Coal Holding Company, and will be represented on the company's board of directors.
 The parties had previously signed a letter of intent for the purchase on June 19, 1992, and had executed a definitive contract on Sept. 8, 1992.
 After this latest acquisition, Zeigler's coal producing subsidiaries will have annual sales in excess of $1.1 billion and recoverable coal reserves of about 3.5 billion tons. With an annual production of approximately 40 million tons, Zeigler's companies will rank as the fourth largest coal producers in the United States with an employee base of more than 4,000.
 "With the acquisition of Shell Mining Company, Zeigler's subsidiaries now rank as the nation's largest independent producers of coal," says Chand B. Vyas, president of Zeigler Coal Holding Company. "But far more important than size is the quality of our people, who are both capable and committed to managing the best coal companies in the United States. The coal assets of these subsidiaries offer diversity in sulphur content, transportation access, contract terms and location of reserves."
 Shell Oil, which began producing coal in 1977, views the transaction as a positive step in its ongoing restructuring designed to improve the company's long-term performance.
 "The sale of Shell Mining enables us to further concentrate our exploration and production resources in our core minerals extraction business -- oil and natural gas," said Frank H. Richardson, president and CEO of Shell Oil Company.
 Zeigler Coal Holding Company is privately held and located in Fairview Heights, Illinois. Vyas and Michael K. Reilly, chairman and chief executive officer, led a group of managers and investors in purchasing Zeigler Coal Company from Houston Natural Gas in 1985. In 1990, Old Ben Coal Company was acquired from British Petroleum Company.
 -0- 11~23~92
 ~CONTACT: H. R. Hutchins, 713-241-4544 or E.A. Pengelly, 713-241-4544 or M. Sternesky, 212-632-4888, all of Shell Oil Company, or Vic Svec, Zeigler Coal Holding Company, 618-394-2430~


CO: Zeigler Coal Holding Company; Shell Oil Company ST: Texas IN: OIL SU: TNM

TM -- NY093 -- 0795 11~23~92 18:41 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 23, 1992
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