Aventine secures $40 M loan, security agreement

By Aventine Renewable Energy | September 18, 2014

Aventine Renewable Energy, a leading producer, marketer and supplier of ethanol, today announced that on Sept. 17 the company secured a $40 million loan and security agreement in partnership with AloStar Bank of Commerce in Birmingham, Alabama, and MidCap Financial LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. 

The new loan replaces a previous agreement and adds over $10 million of increased borrowing capacity while providing more flexibility of working capital for Aventine’s ethanol facilities in Aurora, Nebraska, and Pekin, Illinois. 

Aventine used proceeds from the refinancing and its existing stockpile of cash to fully repay its Term Loan A and A-1 debt early, before they matured in 2016. Originally the A-1 debt, borrowed in June 2013, provided $30 million in CAPEX to revitalize the company’s 200-acre agricultural processing complex and wet mill in Pekin, Illinois. Aventine has now paid off both the Term Loan A and A-1 notes totaling over $82 million of debt in 2014, and has successfully realigned the company’s financial balance sheet. 

“Our aggressive margin management and our detailed adherence to disciplined operational good practices have resulted in record-breaking production and outstanding financial performance. These achievements are providing new opportunities in the financial markets to gain more working capital as we competitively restructure our existing debt structure,” said Aventine President and CEO Mark Beemer. “This refinancing also completes a significant milestone in Aventine’s two-year strategic plan.” 

“We look forward to building our new partnership with Alostar and Midcap,” added Chief Financial Officer Brian Steenhard. “Aventine has paid down significant amounts of debt in the past six months and has realigned debt structures, adding significant value for our shareholders.” 

Two years ago Aventine was near bankruptcy and had only one plant in operation at significantly reduced capacity. Since then the new board of directors hired the Beemer and Steenhard management team, which has led an ambitious turnaround to rebuild Aventine into a dynamic company with five plants in operation: two in Aurora, Nebraska, and three in Pekin, Illinois.