Sacramento’s Pacific Ethanol Inc. said Wednesday that it has completed its $192 million acquisition of Aventine Energy Holdings Inc. in Illinois.
The move effectively doubles the local company’s production capacity, making it the sixth-largest U.S. ethanol manufacturer. It also expands PEI’s reach into the Midwest market.
Neil Koehler, PEI president and CEO, said in a statement: “We look forward to working with the Aventine employees to achieve a smooth integration and accelerate the growth of our combined company.”
The stock takeover – which included Aventine stockholders receiving 1.25 shares of Pacific Ethanol common stock for each share of Aventine common stock owned at closing – of Pekin, Ill.-based Aventine represents another step in PEI’s comeback from the lows of 2009, when depressed ethanol prices forced PEI to shut down production at three of its four western plants and place all four in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
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Just last month, PEI regained full ownership of the four production plants, paying $3.8 million to recoup the last 4 percent ownership stake.