AgStar Lending Sees Potential Buyers for Ethanol Assets

Approval of the sale of somve VeraSun assets to AgStar raises questions.

When the bankruptcy court approved the sale deals for VeraSun this week, one player - AgStar - obtained six plants for a credit bid of $324. The lender says those six plants will remain "in 'idle' mode" for about 60 days while buyers are secured for the assets.

The six plants are in five upper-Midwest states and can produce 470 million gallons of ethanol annually. In a press statement, Paul DeBriyn, president and CEO of AgStar, comments that the purchase will "protect the interests of AgStar stockholders and our fellow creditors in the lending group. That's what the credit bid accomplishes. Basically, we've taken the necessary steps to ensure these plants will be sold for fair-market value."

The AgStar-led lending group includes 16 financial institutions, and reports it has received "ample interest" in the plants from potential buyers. "Even during the auction process, we were fielding inquiries from companies interested in purchasing one or more of these six plants," DeBriyn says. He adds that the goal is to have the plants sold as quickly as possible so they can get up and running soon.

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