Ethanol Producer Emerges From Bankruptcy

Cindy Zimmerman

Aventine Renewable Energy officials expressed optimism about the future for ethanol this week as they emerged triumphant from bankruptcy.

AventineThe Pekin, Illinois-based ethanol producer announced its successful emergence from Chapter 11 restructuring on March 15, naming Thomas Manuel as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer.

“Emerging from bankruptcy with good liquidity, modest debt and lower overhead costs, Aventine is well positioned to be one of the low cost providers of ethanol on a national basis,” said Manuel. “I am very optimistic about the ethanol industry and our success going forward. We have put in place a strong leadership team with decades of experience.”

In February 2009, Aventine and its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the District of Delaware due to tough economic conditions for the ethanol industry had with soaring corn prices and lower petroleum costs.

“The ethanol industry has sound long-term prospects, and we anticipate a strong rebound as the biofuels mandate continues to increase,” Manuel said. “Aventine will emerge as a much stronger business with all the key pieces: a restructured balance sheet, excellent liquidity, and a committed group of employees led by a new senior management team.”

Aventine’s strategy is to be a low-cost, focused ethanol producer. The company also plans to resume as soon as possible the construction of its two partially completed 108 million gallon bio-refineries in Aurora, Neb. and Mt. Vernon, Ind. Both construction projects were within months of completion when work was suspended prior to Aventine’s filing for bankruptcy protection.

Ethanol, Ethanol News