Express Grain Terminals LLC’s largest creditor, UMB Bank, was the highest bidder for the bankrupt company’s assets, The Taxpayers Channel is reporting.
Citing unnamed sources who observed the auction, the news outlet said UMB’s bid was close to $26 million, a fraction of the more than
$156 million the Greenwood-based company owes its creditors.
The news media was excluded, at the order of federal Bankruptcy Court Judge Selene Maddox, from Friday’s auction of Express Grain’s assets and the sale hearing that followed it.
The Taxpayers Channel reported on Saturday, however, that according to the bankruptcy court docket, the court approved the sale of the assets but has not publicly stated the identity of the purchaser or the purchase amount.
Others placing bids, The Taxpayers Channel reported, included Farmers Grain, Roebuck Landing Grain Terminal, and Thoroughbred AgriFuel Holdings, but UMB Bank outbid them by almost $5 million.
For sale were Express Grain’s storage facilities in Sidon, Minter City and Greenwood as well as its soybean-processing plant in Greenwood.
Express Grain’s attorney, Craig Geno, did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.
UMB Bank is owed more than $70 million by Express Grain.
Several lesser creditors, including other financial institutions as well as a large group of farmers who delivered grain to the company for which they were not paid, are battling with the Kansas City, Missouri-based bank over whose claims take priority.
“Normally, a creditor such as UMB Bank will only bid for bankruptcy assets when it believes that the other bids are lower than the potential resale value of the property,” The Taxpayers Channel said.
In addition to the proceeds from the auction, creditors would be paid from what the company has earned from business operations since filing for bankruptcy in late September. The Taxpayers Channel has reported a projected $57.5 million has been sequestered by the bankruptcy court so far for payment to creditors.
The auction took place a day after federal and state law enforcement agents conducted unannounced raids at Express Grain’s offices and the Greenwood home of its embattled president, John Coleman.
The FBI said a third location was also targeted, but the identity of that location has not been disclosed.
The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, which participated in the raid, has said it is looking into whether Coleman committed fraud by providing doctored financial records to state regulators.
- Contact Tim Kalich at 662-581-7243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.