But by July, Alpha was interested again. In a telephone meeting, company management pitched the idea to the board of directors, and Alpha decided to try to reopen talks with Massey.
Throughout the rest of the years, Massey and Alpha had discussions at various times with at least five other companies about various deals involving joint purchases of Massey assets and operations. Those companies are identified in the SEC filing only with letter designations, such as "Company A."
Blankenship continued to oppose proposals from Alpha, and to discuss potential deals with other coal producers.
But Inman began his own conversations with Alpha's Crutchfield, even at one point assuring Crutchfield that a deal was possible, despite Blankenship's views.
"Throughout the course of these conversations, Admiral Inman gave Mr. Crutchfield assurances that although Mr. Blankenship questioned whether the time was right to consider a business combination, the Massey board of directors was willing to consider a business combination with Alpha or another party at an appropriate price and other terms," the SEC filing said.
As talks continued, during the summer and fall of 2010, Blankenship "had informal discussions with certain members of Massey's board of directors as he contemplated retiring, having served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Massey for over a decade," the SEC filing said.
"During this same time frame, as Massey's board of directors took into consideration the environment in which Massey found itself and as it reflected upon Massey's future prospects as a stand-alone company, the board of directors assessed whether Mr. Blankenship as chairman of the board and chief executive officer provided the most viable option for Massey going forward," the filing said.
"In connection with these discussions, Mr. Blankenship elected to submit his resignation to Massey's board of directors," the SEC filing said.
On Dec. 3, 2010, Massey announced that Blankenship was retiring. Eight weeks later, Alpha and Massey issued a joint statement announcing the buyout.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.