Aurora, Nebraska March 2, 2020 – Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company, a leading agricultural retailer in the high plains, is expanding its business through the following transaction:

Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company (ACEC) has announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement with Pacific Ethanol for the sale of its 74% ownership interest in Pacific Aurora, LLC for $52.8 million before adjustments for working capital. Included in the sale are two ethanol production facilities with a combined annual production capacity of 145 million gallons, a grain elevator with storage capacity of 4.1M bushels and integrated rail facilities located in Aurora, Nebraska. Proceeds will be in the form of $27 million in cash and $16.5 million in promissory notes. The sale is anticipated to close within the next 45 days, subject to customary closing conditions.

Chris Vincent, Aurora Cooperative President and CEO, stated, "This investment is a great opportunity for Aurora Cooperative, It's Owners, and the communities that we support. We understand the significance that these two ethanol plants, grain facilities, and rail assets mean to our owners. Achieving full ownership of this local destination market is pivotal to our shared success. We look forward to these assets providing long term value for our Owners, our Cooperative, and our communities."

Neil Koehler, Pacific Ethanol’s president and CEO, stated, “We are pleased to come to agreement with our valued partner the Aurora Cooperative. The sale of our interest is a win-win for both companies, strengthening Pacific Ethanol’s balance sheet while providing Aurora Cooperative with full ownership of these assets. We are confident that under Aurora Cooperative’s capable management and farmer ownership, the facilities will provide value to the local community and the overall ethanol industry. We are committed to a smooth transition of operations and look forward to further collaboration with Aurora Cooperative in growing a successful ethanol business.”

About Aurora Cooperative:

Aurora Cooperative is one of the largest agricultural retailers in the nation, ranking 28th in the nation among all agricultural cooperatives. Aurora Cooperative has been a partner in the success of agriculture for over 112 years, providing high quality, competitive products and services growers rely on every day. Headquartered in Aurora Nebraska, Aurora Cooperative has over 700 employees across 82 locations in seven states were they provides service and expertise in grain, agronomy, animal nutrition, and energy. In 2019, Aurora cooperative had total sales over $1 billion, serviced more than 4M acres, merchandised over 120 million bushels of grain, and have over 34,000 equity members. Aurora Cooperative is a well-established, competitive and innovative cooperative that is built upon providing our owners with profitable solutions that meet their specific needs. We do this by proactively putting our owners’ equity to work, every day, for their farm, their cooperative and for their future. For more information on Aurora Cooperative, please visit www.auroracoop.

About Pacific Ethanol, Inc:

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (PEIX) is a leading producer and marketer of low-carbon renewable fuels and

high-quality alcohol products in the United States. Pacific Ethanol owns and operates nine production facilities, four in the Western states of California, Oregon and Idaho, and five in the Midwestern states of Illinois and Nebraska. The plants have a combined production capacity of 605 million gallons per year, produce over one million tons per year of ethanol co-products – on a dry matter basis – such as wet and dry distillers grains, wet and dry corn gluten feed, condensed distillers solubles, corn gluten meal, corn germ, corn oil, distillers yeast and CO2. Pacific Ethanol markets and distributes fuel-grade ethanol, high-quality alcohol products and coproducts domestically and internationally. Pacific Ethanol’s subsidiary, Kinergy Marketing LLC, markets all ethanol and alcohol products for Pacific Ethanol’s plants as well as for third parties, approaching one billion gallons of ethanol marketed annually based on historical volumes. Pacific Ethanol’s subsidiary, Pacific Ag. Products LLC, markets wet and dry distillers grains. For more information, please visit www.pacificethanol.com.

  • Aurora Cooperative will purchase remaining 74% of ownership from Pacific Ethanol which will make Aurora Cooperative 100% owner of Pacific Aurora LLC and the underlying assets. Assets owned by Pacific Aurora LLC and included in the Purchase are:

                -  2 ethanol Plants – 145M annual Production

                -  Grain Facility – 4.1M bushel capacity

                -  Integrated rail facilities

  • With this investment Aurora Cooperative will assume operational and sales management for all the ethanol, co-products, grain and rail assets.

 

  • Aurora Cooperative will rename Pacific Aurora LLC to Aurora Cooperative Ethanol LLC, which will own both ethanol plants and the inside loop track.

 

  • Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company will own the grain elevator and outside loop track.

 

  • Aurora Cooperative will own and operate 100% of the Aurora West complex, including the dry shed, liquid fertilizer storage, warehouse, grain facilities, ethanol plants, rail assets and A-Stop fueling station.

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