Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc

The productive farmlands of main Illinois have always been vital to the state’s economy. Yet their agricultural duty no longer delivers simply fuel for the body. As Americans look for a replacement for babsence gold, they’re finding it in Illinois’ yellow kernels.

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Pekin is a small city on the Illinois River, around 10 miles southern of Peoria. Nat an early stage halfmeans between Chicago and St. Louis, and also through simple access to the cornfields of Illinois and also Iowa, it serves as the best location for a firm that’s helping readjust the face of fuel in America—Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings, Inc.

Aventineis a leading producer and also marketer of corn-based ethanol, gas and spin-offs. From its plant (and also corpoprice headquarters) in Pekin and also manufacturing facility in Nebraska (and, soon, Indiana), Aventine produced 696 million gallons of fuel in 2006. Its origins tell a story of exactly how time and investment can spell success.

Morgan Stanley andAventine

Aventine served as soon as as a smaller arm of the Williams Companies, an power enterpclimb dealing mainly in natural gas. In 2000, the then-Williams Bio-Energy was a satellite dedicated to ethanol production. But slow expansion and also debilitating overhead hurt it at a time when its parent struggled financially.

In 2002, the Williams Companies realized it necessary to retool its emphasis back towards natural gas. It additionally known that asset sell-offs might boost its balance sheet—and that would incorporate the ethanol-concentrated Bio-Energy company.

In May 2003, Mbody organ Stanley’s Private Equity firm agreed to pay $66 million for Williams Bio-Energy. After completion of the leveraged buyout, the agency adjusted its name to Aventine Renewable Energy, which then operated as an independent agency.

At the moment of the buyout, Aventine turned to Ronald Miller, a veteran of the firm in marketing, logistics and breakthrough, as its chief executive officer. Mr. Miller and also his management team, all of whom have actually extensive suffer in the power industry, capitalized on the burgeoning ethanol market to fuel its development.

As interest in alternative fuels like ethanol started to thrive, it drove the company’s organic growth in the ethanol industry. Yet processing corn right into ethanol and also other products compelled even more plants and resources as well as a marketing organization to market the finimelted goods.

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To stimulate its breakthrough, Aventine again turned to Mbody organ Stanley for added capital and, in December 2005, Morgan Stanley’s private equity firm, now dubbed Metalmark Capital, offered $256 million in late-stage funds. Aventine provided the additional funds to expand operations, exactly what Metalnote aimed for.

As a firm, Metalnote opeprices a platcreate investment style, investing in either start-up providers or expanding existing suppliers favor Aventine, with organic growth. Aventine’s ongoing expansion and the increasing demand for ethanol, coupled through the influx of funding funds, helped firmly develop the firm as an alternative-fuel leader. It wasn’t long prior to the firm sought better funds through an initial public supplying.

The initial filing in March 2006 was for $50 million. Yet, when completed in June, the finish offering totaled $346.5 million. In the end, Metalmark continued to organize onto a 25 percent stake in Aventine.

Exponential Growth

Today, Aventine has progressed right into a firm via a market capitalization of about $600 million. In its a lot of recent fiscal year, it posted $1.59 billion in earnings and also net income of $55 million, a 70 percent increase from the previous year.

The agency employs more than 300 civilization at its corpoprice headquarters and also its plants in Pekin and also Aurora, Neb. In the pipeline are plans for an additional Nebraska plant, along with the Indiana plant, and adjustments to existing plants. The company expects to emphasis time and money on acquisitions.

Aventine long has actually concentrated on building relationships via various other producers, so it invests a part of capital right into purchasing and offering operations and marketing partnerships with others in the market. It also benefits from strategic partnerships, such as its collaborative researches through Purdue University and also the Agrisociety Department’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research. Further development in these areas is anticipated.

Aventine’s strong expansion in such a short time shows both its product supplying and also the capability to raise the vital resources once most in need. If not for its 2 injections of undertaking funding, Aventine would not most likely have actually establimelted itself as an independent worry.


Instead, Aventine thrives. It grows profits and also alternate fuels, jobs and a new arena for farmers throughout the Midwest. In Illinois’ own backyard, the future of energy literally takes root.