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Thread: Lake & Rail’ grain elevator purchased by Minnesota firm

  1. #1
    Member steven's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    Lake & Rail’ grain elevator purchased by Minnesota firm

    A 75-year-old grain elevator along the Buffalo River has a new owner and a revised future. Minneapolis, Minn.-based Whitebox Commodities Holdings Corp., a grain handling, storage and trading business, has purchased the “Lake & Rail” elevator off Ohio Street.

    Whitebox, a subsidiary of Whitebox Advisors, a hedge fund management firm that owns three other elevator complexes in the Midwest, is expected to use the massive Buffalo elevator as a foothold to Eastern markets. The Minneapolis company did not return phone calls regarding its Buffalo deal.
    The huge 4.4 million bushel elevator is located just north of Ohio Street, on the grounds of RiverWright LLC, an ethanol company that will begin production in late 2009. It was previously owned by ConAgra Foods, which closed it down in 2001.

    RiverWright acquired a total of four elevators along the Buffalo River in 2006 where it would store grains for conversion to fuel. The ethanol group, which paid $160,000 to amass the entire plant site, did not disclose the sale price of the Lake & Rail elevator.

    RiverWright Chief Executive Officer Greg Stevens said the sale reflects his company’s “evolved strategy” for revitalizing the once-bustling grain milling and storage site.

    “Our mission has expanded from tapping elevator capacity to feed our ethanol plant, to looking at sister opportunities,” Stevens said. “This site and these elevators are among the most logistically-advantaged in the U. S. for storing and shipping grain. That’s why they were built here in the first place.”

    RiverWright refurbished the Lake & Rail elevator as a first step in its $180 million plan to utilize the idle Buffalo River facilities for ethanol production. Last fall, it tested the updated elevator by loading it up with one million bushels of corn and soy beans. The grains were stored over the winter and shipped out this spring to a biofuels plant and animal feed customers.
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