Express Grain Terminal LLC’s largest creditor, UMB Bank, was the highest bidder for the bankrupt company’s assets, reports The Taxpayers Channel.
Citing unnamed sources who observed the auction, the 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 were barred, by order of Federal Bankruptcy Court Judge Selene Maddox, from Friday’s auction of Express Grain’s assets and the subsequent sale hearing.
The Taxpayers Channel, however, reported on Saturday that, according to the bankruptcy court docket, the court approved the sale of the assets but did not publicly state the identity of the buyer or the amount of the purchase.
Others made offers, The Taxpayers Channel reported, including Farmers Grain, Roebuck Landing Grain Terminal and Thoroughbred AgriFuel Holdings, but UMB Bank outbid them by nearly $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.
UMB Bank owes over $70 million to 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 fighting with the Kansas City-based bank, in Missouri, to find out which claims have priority.
“Normally, a creditor like UMB Bank will only make an offer for bankruptcy assets if they believe other offers are lower than the potential resale value of the property,” The Taxpayers Channel said.
In addition to auction proceeds, creditors would be paid from what the company has earned from business operations since filing for bankruptcy in late September. The Taxpayer Channel reported that an expected $57.5 million has been sequestered in bankruptcy court so far for payment to creditors.
The auction came a day after federal and state law enforcement officers carried out unannounced raids on the offices of Express Grain and the Greenwood home of its embattled chairman, John Coleman. The FBI said a third location was also targeted, but the identity of that location was not released.
The Mississippi attorney general’s office, which participated in the raid, said it was investigating whether Coleman committed fraud by providing falsified financial records to state regulators.
– Contact Tim Kalich at 662-581-7243 or [email protected]