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Iowa ethanol plant investors vote to sell majority ownership

Agriculture.com Staff 03/30/2006 @ 2:55pm

Shareholders of one of the first farmer-owned ethanol plants in Iowa have voted 717-348 to sell a majority interest for $100 million to a foreign company.

Dave Nelson, Midwest Grain Processors' board chairman, told Agriculture Online on Thursday that 1,065 of the 1,290 members voted on Thursday. Many of the investors are Iowa farmers, but the total member list represents 11 states.

"The turnout for the vote was unbelievable," Nelson said. "It was better than a Presidential election turnout."

Under terms of the purchase agreement, Global Ethanol, an Australian company, would become a 60 percent owner of MGP LLC. Shareholders would receive about $3.23 for each share they own. Plus, more money from an escrow account will be sent to investors in a few years.

Nelson said the average farmer-investor has between 15,000-20,000 shares.

With locations in Michigan and Iowa, Midwest Grain Processors is expected to produce nearly 157 million gallons of ethanol by the end of 2006. With Thursday's vote, Nelson said this provides a mandate for the board to pursue future growth plans for the plant.

"Between all of our facilities, we plan to boost production to at least 500 million gallons per year very soon," Nelson said.

Shareholders of one of the first farmer-owned ethanol plants in Iowa have voted 717-348 to sell a majority interest for $100 million to a foreign company.

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