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Mitchell County ethanol plant emerged from bankruptcy Dec. 31

Southwest Georgia Ethanol, LLC, (SWGE) a 100 million gallon per year ethanol facility located in Mitchell County, successfully emerged from its Chapter 11 restructuring on Dec. 31, 2011, according to a press release issued by the unit of First United Ethanol, LLC, of Camilla.
Murray Campbell, president of SWGE and one of the founders of the company, said in the statement, “SWGE will have the benefit of a strong balance sheet, allowing SWGE to continue to be an economic engine for southwest Georgia, contributing to local tax coffers, and generating revenue for area businesses. SWGE will continue to offer competitive prices to our local corn farmers and provide quality distillers grains for local livestock. We appreciate our corn farmers, distillers grains customers, and our vendors working with us. We are also very proud of our employees’ dedication as we worked toward this day.”    
SWGE will retain all of its management team including Murray Campbell as president, Larry Kamp as CFO, Brad Kusterman as director of commodities, Sandy Boone as controller, Josh Edwards as director of operations, and Andy Culpepper as maintenance manager.  SWGE will also retain all of its 64 employees. During the Chapter 11 process, SWGE maintained full production levels and continues to produce at levels up to 105% of capacity.   
SWGE established a Board of Managers including James Continenza who will serve as chairman of the board of managers. Mr. Continenza has experience in the ethanol industry and has served as a senior executive turning around underperforming businesses in a variety of industries. Murray Campbell, president of SWGE, will also serve on the board of managers.
According to a report from the Bloomberg Business Week website, the company’s Chapter 11 plan was confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Albany.
Bloomberg reports that lenders, who are owed $107.6 million, will receive $105 million in preferred stock plus 25 percent of the common stock. The disclosure statement estimated the lenders’ recovery at 97.5 percent.
Unsecured creditors with $2.1 million in claims and bondholders owed $8.7 million will receive proceeds from a litigation trust and were projected to get a 3 percent recovery, according to the Bloomberg report.
The plant began operation in Mitchell County in 2008 and sought Chapter 11 protection in February. In addition to bank debt, liabilities initially included $12.6 million owing on two subordinated notes.
According to The Atlanta Business Chronicle, Southwest Georgia Ethanol filed for bankruptcy after receiving written notice early last year from a German commercial bank that the company had violated the terms of a $100 million construction loan and a $15 million working capital loan.
For the fiscal year that ended September 2010, the company’s revenues were $168.9 million.
First United Ethanol, LLC, which owns Southwest Georgia Ethanol, LLC, did not file for bankruptcy.

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