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U.S. federal court dismisses appeal by Peabody creditors

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A U.S. federal appeals court dismissed an emergency appeal by opponents of Peabody Energy Corp's reorganization plan on Wednesday, saying any complaints should be lodged after the plan is confirmed by the bankruptcy court.

An ad hoc committee of dissenting creditors had said that a key piece of Peabody's proposal to exit Chapter 11 protection violates U.S. bankruptcy law by prematurely requiring creditors to promise to support it.

A bankruptcy panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not address the merits of the motion.

Peabody hopes to emerge from bankruptcy in April, a year after its Chapter 11 filing with over $8 billion of debt. Its bankruptcy confirmation trial is scheduled for March 16.

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(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)