Feeds

America's second largest ethanol producer goes titsup

Bill Gates was right, cornsarnit!

The next step in data security

VeraSun Energy, the second-largest producer of corn-based ethanol in the United States has run out of money and filed for bankruptcy protection.

The South Dakota-based company said in a court filing on Monday that it wouldn't be able to make this week's payroll without help and also needs money to buy corn, natural gas, and pay its leases and other expenses.

Verasun lost $63m to $103m when attempting to hedge risks in the corn market, Bloomberg reports. This summer, VeraSun had agreed to purchase corn at a fixed price of $6.75 to $7 a bushel when Midwest flooding sent grain prices sky-rocketing.

But the flood damage wasn't as bad as anticipated, and combined with worldwide economic slowdown, corn futures settled back down to $4 a bushel.

The credit crisis also found VeraSun unable to secure funding needed to pay the interest on its debt.

"Today's filing allows VeraSun to address its short-term liquidity constraints as we navigate historically challenging market conditions while we focus on restructuring to address the company's long-term future," company CEO Don Endres said in a statement Friday.

In its SEC filing, VeraSun claims $3.45bn in assets and $1.91bn in debt.

Ethanol investments gained much of its legitimacy when the uber-nerd himself, Bill Gates bought a $84m stake in Pacific Ethanol in 2006. But the former Microsoft chief later started selling off the shares, taking a big financial hit to get the hell out of Dodge. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source
Landlubber scope-gazers squint to horizons and see anti-electron count surge
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.