Greenhunter pursues restructuring options

By Nicholas Zeman | June 09, 2009
Posted June 24, 2009

Greenhunter Energy Inc. of Grapevine, Tex., is pursuing restructuring options including the sale of its 105 MMgy biodiesel refinery on the Houston ship channel, Green Hunter Biofuels LLC. GreenHunter's stock saw sharp gains when the company announced that Ronald Ormand of West LB AG, the German bank that serves as GreenHunter's senior lender, had joined the board of directors.

This maneuver fueled speculation that the company would be able to amend its credit agreement and meet future debt requirements, making investors more comfortable with the future performance of the company. Yesterday, Greenhunter indeed announced that "the execution of a definitive Amendment to its existing credit agreement with West LB AG in the original principal amount of $38.5 million and $10 million, the company's term loan and working capital line of credit with the lender, respectively."

Jack Zedlitz, spokesman for Greenhunter, said however that the sale of the biodiesel plant was only one of the options that the company was considering in restructuring its finances. "In addition to an outside sale, we are considering refinancing with a federal loan guarantee or bringing in a strategic partner to build our working capital," he told Biodiesel Magazine.

The U.S. DOE's loan guarantee program is expected to publish guidelines on how to apply in July. "Right now we're waiting on the government," Zedlitz said.

"By amending our existing Credit Agreement with WestLB, we have positioned the Company in a manner that should allow us time to seek a number of solutions to our present financial situation," said Gary Evans, CEO of Greenhunter in a prepared statement. "This is especially important now that credit markets have begun to improve and crude oil prices, which have a direct correlation to the price of biodiesel, have recently increased. We are also hopeful that the Federal Government will begin funding the many incentives that have been promised under the new Administration for our industry."
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