Oil Company Buys Ethanol Plants

Cindy Zimmerman

VerasunWhen the dust finally settled yesterday, oil company Valero came out with the winning bid of $477 million for seven ethanol plants owned by bankrupt producer VeraSun Energy.

ValeroAccording to a release from VeraSun, Valero Renewable Fuels was selected as the successful bidder for assets contained in the “VSE Group”, in addition to ethanol production facilities in Albion, Neb., and Albert City, Iowa, following an auction in Wilmington, Del. The VSE Group consists of production facilities in Aurora, S.D.; Charles City, Fort Dodge and Hartley, Iowa, and Welcome, Minn., and a development site in Reynolds, Ind.

The auction began Monday but ended up continuing into Tuesday because a number of other bidders ended up participating in the process, including Archer Daniels Midland, although they did not acquire any assets.

The secured lenders for nine other VeraSun facilities submitted successful credit bids. The company hopes to close the deals in April. VeraSun had filed to reorganize under Chapter 11 of federal bankruptcy law late in October.

Ethanol, Facilities