Successful bidders named in sale of 5 Abengoa ethanol plants

By Erin Voegele | August 23, 2016

On Aug. 22, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri named the successful bidders for five Abengoa first-generation ethanol plants in the U.S.

In June, Abengoa Bioenergy U.S. Holding LLC, along with certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries, announced an agreement to sell four of its first-generation ethanol plants in the U.S. for at least $350 million through a competitive process in the chapter 11 bankruptcy case pending before a Missouri court. At that time, the company was seeking approval for minimum stalking horse bid agreements for four plants. Green Plains Inc. was seeking to purchase Abengoa’s Madison, Illinois, and Mount Vernon, Indiana, plants. Together, those facilities are referred to as the “maple plants.” In addition, an affiliate of KAPPA Inc. was seeking to purchase Abengoa’s Ravenna, Nebraska, plant, while an affiliate of BioUrja Inc. was seeking to buy the company’s York, Nebraska, facility. 

Court documents explain that the bankruptcy court entered the bidding procedures order on June 15, with the bid deadline set for Aug. 18. The auction took place Aug. 22.

Documents filed with the court following the auction indicate Green Plains was the successful bidder on the maple plants, with a bid of $200 million. Green Plains also successfully bid on the York assets, with a bid of $37.375 million. The backup bidder for the York facility is BioUrja Trading LLC, with a qualified bid of $35 million. KE Holdings LLC was the successful bidder of the Ravenna assets, with a bid of $115 million.

Court documents also name successful bidders for an additional Abengoa facility beyond the four plants included in the June announcement. ICM Inc. was the successful bidder on Abengoa’s Colwich, Kansas facility, with a bid of $3.15 million. ACE Ethanol LLC is the backup bidder for the facility, with a qualified bid of $3 million.

According to the court, the sale hearing to approve the sale of the purchased assets to the successful bidders is scheduled for Aug. 29.

Green Plains issued a statement regarding its planned purchase of three Abengoa facilities, noting once the acquisitions are complete, Green Plains will own 17 dry mill ethanol plants with a combined capacity of nearly 1.5 billion gallons per year.

“We continue to focus on making strategic investments in high quality assets as we expand our production footprint,” said Todd Becker, president and CEO at Green Plains. “The Madison and Mount Vernon plants will give us access to the Mississippi River, supporting our new export terminal planned in Beaumont, Texas. In addition, we will broaden our product offering globally with industrial alcohol production at the York plant. These acquisitions further our commitment to deliver long-term value for both Green Plains Inc. and Green Plains Partners shareholders.”