BioWillie Distributor Woes

John Davis

In what could be seen as a cautionary tale that you’ve got to have more than good intentions to make it in the biodiesel business, the company that had rights to Willie Nelson’s brand of biodiesel… BioWillie… will delay the filing of its 2006 financial results because of “circumstances surrounding the auditor review of our financial information.”

In this story in the Kansas City Star, Earth Biofuels, Inc. had to notify the Security and Exchange Commission of the delay:

Robert Anderson of Kansas City joined the company in October to help with its expansion into the Midwest. Initially enthusiastic about the company, he soon became disenchanted with its inability to follow through on its plans. Now working for another biodiesel company, Anderson worries that Earth Biofuels’ mounting difficulties could unfairly taint the biodiesel industry.

“This is a company and not an industry problem,” Anderson said.

… by late 2006 others were raising questions about the company and its financial health. The Motley Fool investment service warned investors about Earth Biofuels. Earlier this year, Forbes magazine published a critical article, alleging the company was running short on cash.

Forbes also raised questions about Dennis McLaughlin, the company’s chief executive officer, and his previous dealings, including his role at another company, Aurora Natural Gas, which filed for bankruptcy shortly after he left.

Some employees, including those selling BioWillie, have been laid off.