Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-op considering possibility of sale

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer

Representatives of the Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-op explained at the annual shareholders meeting Jan. 19, that the Board is looking for alternatives to its current operating structure.

“The Board is seeking strategic alternatives,” said Chief Financial Officer Larry Novakoske. “These alternatives might include an outright sale, a partnership with another entity involved in the ethanol industry or to continue to operate with the current structure.”

Novakoske attributed the move by the Board to the state of the ethanol industry today.

“It’s because of what has happened in the industry in the last 12-15 months,” he said, “the large downturn in the financial situation in the industry.”

Due in part to the high price of corn and the low availability of corn locally, the  Co-op suspended operations in July. Production resumed in mid-September.

Shareholder and Community Development of Morrison County Director Carol Anderson said that since the Co-op is a private company, she declined to comment.

Novakoske could not disclose whether purchase offers have been received by the Co-op.

“We are looking at various alternatives,” said Novakoske. “What is best for our shareholders is what we’re going to choose.”