CropEnergies acquires UK plant, releases Q1 financials

By Erin Voegele | July 22, 2013

Germany-based CropEnergies AG has acquired U.K.-based ethanol producer Ensus Ltd., which operates a 400 MMly (105.7 MMgy) wheat ethanol plant in Yarm, England. The plant originally commenced operations in 2010.

According to CropEnergies, the acquisition was completed on July 19 by a contribution in kind in return for the issuance of 2.25 million new CropEnergies shares, with a per share issuing price of €5.98 ($7.89). Ensus is being sold by funds affiliated to the Carlyle Group, which will become a shareholder in CropEnergies with 2.6 percent of the stock.

Crop Energies said it intends to invest more than £50 million ($76.82 million) to improve the competitiveness of the plant. Information released by Ensus said the plant is scheduled to restart once essential maintenance work is completed.

In addition to ethanol, the facility also has the capacity to produce 350,000 metric tons of distillers grains annually and supplies carbon dioxide coproduct to the food and beverage industry.

The plant directly employs approximately 100 workers. The business also supports approximately 2,000 jobs within the supply chain, including those associated with farming, transportation, engineering support and storage.

Information released by CropEnergies specifies that the acquisition allows it to gain access to the British ethanol market, the third largest in Europe following Germany and France. CropEnergies also currently operates ethanol plants in Germany, France and Belgium.

“We are delighted with the news that Ensus will become a key part of CropEnergies existing biofuels production network,” said Peter Sopp, CEO of Ensus. “As one of the most successful bioethanol producers in the industry, CropEnergies bring huge expertise and experience in this field, as well as a strong commitment to invest further in the Ensus operations in the U.K. It is great news for our employees, customers and suppliers.”

Earlier this month, CropEnergies released its financial results for the first quarter of its 2013/2014 financial year. The company’s revenues increased by 16 percent compared to the same period of last year, reaching €186 million. The increase is attributed to higher revenues for ethanol and distillers grains, as well as increased ethanol sales volumes. EBITDA for the quarter increased by 5 percent to €23.6 when compared to the first quarter of the prior financial year.

During the three month period, CropEnergies produced 201,000 cubic meters of ethanol, an increase over the 192,000 cubic meters produced during same period of the previous year.

According to the quarterly release, CropEnergies expects its plants to operate at near capacity for the remainder of the fiscal year.