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Pacific Ethanol Refinances Debt, Acquires Nebraska Grain Elevator

U.S.-based Pacific Ethanol has refinanced its $155.1 million principal term debt that was due in September 2017. Under the terms of a series of agreements, the company will assume a new $64 million five-year term loan from CoBank and First Farm Credit, a revolving credit line of $32 million, and a three-year senior note offering of $55 million.

Pacific Ethanol is also launching Pacific Aurora LLC (PAL), a new company being established in partnership with Aurora Cooperative Elevator Co. (ACEC) Under the agreement, Pacific Ethanol will contribute its plant assets in Nebraska while ACEC will contribute its Aurora West Grain Elevator, loop track, land, and other related assets to the joint venture. ACEC will go on to acquire a 14 percent stake in PAL from Pacific Ethanol in exchange for $30 million in cash, and Pacific Ethanol will hold a 74 percent stake in the company.

Combined, the deals will reduce Pacific Ethanol’s total debt by more than $12 million and its annual interest payments by more than $8 million, while its cash, working capital and liquid reserves will increase by $55 million.

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