CHARLESTON – If a large foreign creditor agrees, Governor Jim Justice could pay off more than $ 850 million in debt, including $ 700 million in loans he has personally guaranteed.
Justice-owned Bluestone Resources made an offer to Switzerland-based Credit Suisse Group to settle past loans to defunct Greensill Capital, according to the Wall Street Journal on Monday.
Wall Street Journal reporter Julie Steinberg wrote that Bluestone representatives offered Credit Suisse $ 300 million by refinancing existing loans through a third-party lender. The company also offered Credit Suisse half of the proceeds from the future sale or initial public offering of Bluestone, the umbrella company for the majority of Justice’s business, including the coal companies.
Speaking at his COVID-19 briefing on Monday, Justice said he had not seen the Wall Street Journal story, but said the description of the report was “precise.”
“I think it would be very, very premature for me to have a lot of comments on this and everything,” says justice. “I think the people at Credit Suisse and (Bluestone) work together and very well together.”
Greensill filed for bankruptcy in March after losing coverage from credit insurers supposed to protect company liability against risky supply chain finance funds, a sort of payday loan for businesses. Greensill would lend money to businesses, which businesses would reimburse to Greensill after invoices were paid to businesses for services rendered. Greensill would take costs.
In March, Credit Suisse froze all funds and was working with Bluestone and other borrowers to return the borrowed money. Bluestone was one of Greensill’s three biggest borrowers, according to the Wall Street Journal, making loans to Justice Company in 2018.
“We tore the carpet under us with the people of Greensill”, says justice. “What happened with Greensill, and I’ve said it time and time again, they’re bad actors. With that, we had to work through a whole bunch of hoops and everything.”
In court documents filed in March against Greensill, lawyers for Bluestone said the company is not expected to start repaying loans until 2023. Justice said the loans were needed to help pay off debts and obligations when Bluestone took over. acquired several mines and processing facilities. Russian coal producer OAO Mechel in 2015.
This is the second settlement of a Justice loan issue. Justice Firms last month dropped a federal lawsuit against Virginia-based Carter Bank and Trust after Carter Bank dropped a lawsuit against the Justice Firms for more than $ 368 million in loans that were also personally guaranteed by Justice.
Justice claims not to be personally involved in either case, leaving the care to his son Jay Justice and daughter Jill Justice. Jay runs the charcoal, lumber, and agriculture businesses, while Jill runs the Greenbrier Resort and associated businesses.
Bluestone is one of 112 companies owned by Justice according to its 2021 financial disclosure report with the West Virginia Ethics Commission. Only seven of these companies had been placed in blind trusts as of April 30, 2017, shortly after Justice took office. Blind trusts are used by elected officials to entrust their affairs to third parties while avoiding possible conflicts of interest.
Justice said improving the business climate for coal and its other businesses has provided it with the capital to make deals with its loan providers. Justice has also criticized media coverage of its companies, calling such stories a distraction from the state’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We spend time worrying about my family’s personal finances and how it all goes,” says justice. “I can tell you that things are going very well. To scream out loud is the last thing we need to worry about. What we need to worry about are 3,568 great West Virgins that we’ve lost, and that’s what I’m doing day and night. I’ll do my job, period.
Steven Allen Adams can be contacted at [email protected]