Down Under Moving Midwest

Cindy Zimmerman

Midwest Grain The sudden interest of private companies wanting to invest in ethanol plants is causing some consternation in the midwest. US ethanol plant development has been largely a grassroots campaign over the past decade financed by farmer-owned cooperatives. Now one of those co-ops is facing the entrepreneur’s dream dilemma – selling out for venture capital. Midwest Grain Processors, a 1,300 farmer co-op in Lakota, IA has a deal worth $100 million in the works with a little-known Australian corporation by the name of Global Ethanol. The big bucks would help the co-op double capacity, but it would cost them 60 percent interest.
The Des Moines Register reports today that Senator Charles Grassley (IA-R) is urging the farmers “not to sell control to a foreign company.” The farmer-owners must vote to approve the deal before it can go through.
When I started researching this story today, I spent about an hour searching for this Global Ethanol company on the web, unsuccessfully. I finally found an article in the Australian Courier-Mail that kind of answered my question, saying “Little is known about Global Ethanol. Director Timothy McMahon yesterday referred questions to fellow director Trevor Bourne, who is in the US.”
I think that’s a little weird that a company calling itself GLOBAL ETHANOL is nowhere to be found on the web and has little known about it. Not very global, if you ask me. I will be interested to see how this deal goes down.