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NorthWestern Clears Last Post-Bankruptcy Hurdle

South Dakota-based NorthWestern Energy announced Wednesday it has cleared the last pending hurdle in its post-Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization by reaching an agreement in principle to settle all pending legal actions, appeals, claims and disputes involving the utility holding company and Magten Asset Management Corp. and Law Debenture Trust Co. of New York LLC.

The completion of the settlement is subject to "completing mutually acceptable definitive documentation and ultimate approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware," NorthWestern said.

CEO Gary Drook said in a prepared statement that if the court approves the deal, it will "resolve the only pending appeal of NorthWestern's confirmed plan of reorganization and resolves a significant amount of pending legal actions, claims and disputes brought by Magten and Law Debenture."

Drook said the company's ability to move ahead with its court-approved reorganization is dependent on "appropriately addressing" pending litigation and disputed claims. The pending settlement, he said, will remove any remaining uncertainties. NorthWestern will be filing a motion with the bankruptcy court asking for its approval of the settlement "as soon as possible."

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