The sudden interest of private companies wanting to invest in ethanol plants is causing some consternation in the midwest. US ethanol plant development has been largely a grassroots campaign over the past decade financed by farmer-owned cooperatives. Now one of those co-ops is facing the entrepreneur’s dream dilemma – selling out for venture capital. Midwest Grain Processors, a 1,300 farmer co-op in Lakota, IA has a deal worth $100 million in the works with a little-known Australian corporation by the name of Global Ethanol. The big bucks would help the co-op double capacity, but it would cost them 60 percent interest.
The Des Moines Register reports today that Senator Charles Grassley (IA-R) is urging the farmers “not to sell control to a foreign company.” The farmer-owners must vote to approve the deal before it can go through.
When I started researching this story today, I spent about an hour searching for this Global Ethanol company on the web, unsuccessfully. I finally found an article in the Australian Courier-Mail that kind of answered my question, saying “Little is known about Global Ethanol. Director Timothy McMahon yesterday referred questions to fellow director Trevor Bourne, who is in the US.”
I think that’s a little weird that a company calling itself GLOBAL ETHANOL is nowhere to be found on the web and has little known about it. Not very global, if you ask me. I will be interested to see how this deal goes down.