SW Minn. ethanol plant acquired by Granite Falls investors

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The owners of one ethanol plant in southwestern Minn, will acquire the controlling stake in another.

The Star Tribune reports that regulatory filings show that Granite Falls Energy, which owns an ethanol plant in Granite Falls, has acquired a controlling stake in the nearby Heron Lake BioEnergy plant for $17 million.

Eaarlier this year, it was announced that the Heron Lake facility BioEnergy would be sold to a group of ethanol producers for $55 million, but the deal fell through. Heron Lake BioEnergy has reported losses for seven quarters in a row.

Under the deal that closed last week, the newspaper reports that Granite Falls Energy acquired an investment group’s interest in the Heron Lake plant for $8 million in cash, a $4 million note and assumption of a $5 million note held by Granite Falls Bank.

The Granite Falls and Heron Laket plants will remain separate companies, but will share some management and may combine costs, including marketing and sharing rail cars. Together the plants employ more than 70.

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