South Bend’s ethanol plant has some new owners, but many residents who live nearby are unhappy with the sale. On Tuesday, a judge approved the sale of the New Energy ethanol plant to two resale companies, Maynards and BidItUp. Last week in an auction, the companies teamed up and bid $2.5 million for the plant, which closed in November amid financial troubles. But, as New Energy lawyers prepared to ask the court for sale approval, an objection to the sale was filed. One of the other bidders, Natural Chem, argued the sale violated bankruptcy law. According to Natural Chem CEO and President Robert Salazar, companies are only allowed to bid together in a bankruptcy sale if it’s approved before the auction. Salazar says Maynards and BidItUp didn’t get approval and decided to enter a joint bid in the middle of the auction. So, Natural Chem asked the court to rule the original auction void and require a new auction sale to take place. But, after a long day in court, the judge ruled the proceedings were transparent because the joint bid was announced to all participants, so the sale of New Energy was approved. “In our opinion, an operator would have won the auction,” Salazar said. “However, they were outbid by this joint venture of two liquidation groups that were allowed to bid together.” Salazar says Natural Chem won’t appeal the bankruptcy judge’s ruling, so the sale of New Energy will likely stand.
Source: WNDU TV