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Express Grain bankruptcy creditors scramble desperately to be paid, but to no avail

Thursday, April 28, 2022, 7:51 pm News Flash Archive

As the farmers and warehouse receipt holders await the bankruptcy court's ruling on whether the hotly contested grain rights Settlement Agreement will be approved or not, other non-farmer creditors are beginning to grasp that there is simply no money in the bankrupt estate to pay their legitimate claims.

The Taxpayers Channel has previously reported on the breakdown of the creditors, whose claims top $214 million. See here for our previous analysis of these claims: Express Grain bankruptcy claims total $214.5 million

An additional $4.4 million in farm grain claims were identified later. See here for details: UMB Bank legal bill presented in sanction order against Don Barrett; $4.4 million more owed for grain

In all, banks and financing companies are owed $156 million. Farmers who delivered grain but were never paid for it by Express Grain are owed $47 million.

The Taxpayers Channel has identified around $5.8 million in other non-farmer unsecured creditors' claims that have essentially no hope of being paid anything at all. That's because EG has essentially liquidated at a total value of just under $85 million.

Almost every dollar of value of EG has already been set aside to pay creditors who are owed money for grain - farmers, banks, and the "repo lenders."

To see a list of the miscellaneous creditors owed $5.8 million, view here: Miscellaneous Express Grain Creditors

These creditors are all unsecured, meaning that they come at the very end of the line when it comes to being paid. They consist of a mixture of contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, transportation providers, and governmental entities.

Creditors owed more than $100,000 each are as follows:

$944,399.04 - Bunge North America, Inc.
$806,403.06 - Bayer Production Supply LLC
$750,000.00 - Mississippi Development Authority
$659,224.64 - Turner Industries Group, LLC
$602,300.00 - Archer-Daniels-Midland Company
$335,342.64 - Riceland Foods, Inc.
$262,229.00 - Mississippi Department of Revenue
$245,907.38 - Gresham Petroleum Company
$196,018.44 - Cattlemans Advantage Inc.
$161,733.29 - CPM Roskamp Champion
$141,904.22 - Borton, LC
$103,567.36 - Canadian National Railway Company
$101,397.40 - GreenAmerica Biofuels LLC

But at least three of these unsecured creditors have applied to have their claims reclassified as "administrative claims" which would push them back up to the beginning of the line for payment.

Riceland Foods sold EG large quantities of extracted soybean meal, and claims that $257,332.64 of that should be given priority as an administrative claim because it was used to maintain the bankrupt estate. See Riceland's claim here: Riceland Motion for Administrative Claim

Borton was in the midst of a building contract for grain storage structures on site in Greenwood when EG filed for bankruptcy on September 29, 2021. By that time, Borton claims it was already owed $141,904.22. But:

Borton was not advised of the Debtor's bankruptcy filing and continued to perform its obligations under the Contracts from and after the petition date in good faith and in conformity with the project plans.

Eventually, through CR3 Partners, Borton was advised of the bankruptcy filing and requested to continue construction under the Contracts pursuant to which it would receive payments from the Debtor on a weekly basis for work performed. Borton was not timely or fully paid as represented. Borton incurred a total of $246,418.91 (the "Admin Claim Amount") for work performed and materials provided under the Contracts post-petition for which it was not paid.

... Borton terminated the Contracts on or around November 1, 2021, after it was advised that it would not be paid any additional amounts for any post-petition work already performed or to be performed, and the Debtor did not seek to assume the Contracts and cure the defaults thereunder.

To read Borton's administrative claim in the amount of $246,418.91, see here: Borton Motion for Administrative Claim

Maples Gas sold diesel fuel to EG during the 20 days prior to the filing of bankruptcy in the amount of $51,092.43. See here to read Maples' claim: Maples Gas Motion for Administrative Claim

But the only problem is, that Express Grain has no money to pay these claims, even if they are reclassified as Administrative Claims. For example, EG's bankruptcy attorney Craig Geno replies to Riceland Foods as follows:

... there are no cash proceeds in this case that are not subject to prior liens and interest of various creditors and claimants. Accordingly, there are no funds for "immediate" payment to Riceland even if its claims are granted (which they should not be).

... in the event the Court sees fit to grant any part of the Motion, the Debtor cannot make "full" payment of those claims, or any payment for that matter....

EG also denied that all three of these debts qualified as "administrative claims." To read EG's responses to these three claims, view here:

EG Response to Riceland Foods Administrative Claim

EG Response to Borton Administrative Claim

EG Response to Maples Gas Administrative Claim


To read all our coverage of the Express Grain bankruptcy case, see here: Index of Express Grain articles


John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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