Ethanol Plants to be Auctioned

Cindy Zimmerman

Less than one year after the merger of VeraSun Energy and US BioEnergy, seven of the ethanol plants acquired in the merger are scheduled to be sold at auction.

VeraSunThe auction will take place between March 16 and March 31. The merger of the two companies was final on April 1, 2008.

US BioenergyPlants to be auctioned include two in Nebraska, two in Iowa and one each in North Dakota, Minnesota and Michigan – all were originally owned by U.S. BioEnergy. The only former U.S. BioEnergy plant not included in the auction is the Marion, South Dakota facility because it is backed by a different lender, but it is currently idle. In fact, only four of VeraSun’s 17 plants are still producing ethanol at this point.

Potential buyers for the plants are staying confidential, but all eyes are on POET. Last week, POET CEO Jeff Broin said they were “in talks with several companies” when he was asked about future acquisitions. “POET today is considering all its options,” Broin said during the press conference to announce the start-up of their pilot cellulosic facility. “We have been looking at acquisitions of many facilities over the past six months.”

The VeraSun plants are being auctioned as as part of a bankruptcy financing agreement with lender AgStar Financial Services to provide an additional $30 million in debtor-in-possession financing to VeraSun.

Ethanol, News