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Last legal obstacle removed from final sale of bankrupt Express Grain assets

Thursday, June 23, 2022, 11:33 am News Flash Archive

This morning, a hearing was held by the Express Grain bankruptcy court on a motion filed by UMB Bank and Express Grain seeking clarification of the court's Sale Order. One of the issues needing clarification involves the 16th section land that part of the oil mill rests upon. The 16th section land is not owned outright by EG, but rather is subject to 99 year leases from the county and the public school district. Those leases expire July 2, 2046, and this creates some legal questions about the conveyance of EG's property to its new owners.

We had previously reported the request by UMB Bank and Express Grain for clarification here: UMB Bank transferring Express Grain assets to FSB Companies and Thoroughbred

Although UMB Bank won the bid at the February 25th bankruptcy auction to purchase substantially all of EG's assets, the Sale Order allows UMB Bank to "assign" its purchase rights to third parties before the close of the sale, allowing the assignees to step in and complete the purchase instead of UMB Bank.

Attending the hearing were Frank Brumfield, one of the proposed "assignee" purchasers of EG's physical assets, and two lawyers for Thoroughbred, the other proposed purchaser.

Also attending were Craig Geno, Express Grain's bankruptcy attorney, along with Dennis Gerrard, who has been running Express Grain since soon after the bankruptcy filing. Greenwood attorney Charlie Swayze III also attended to provide information to the court regarding 16th section land leases.

The three Warehouse Receipt Holders, Macquarie, UMB Bank, and StoneX, were all represented by their lawyers, as were the United States Bankruptcy Trustee and the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

During the hearing, for the first time, it was confirmed by attorney Doug Noble that his client, Mr. Brumfield, intends to purchase the Sidon and Minter City properties. Mr. Brumfield holds and manages his investments through his company, FSB Companies. He intends to operate the EG properties as a long-term investment. Mr. Brumfield was born and raised in Sunflower County. He hopes to support the Delta community and the farmers.

Delta Grain Company, LLC will be the new name for Mr. Brumfield's company operating the Sidon and Minter City warehouses. The Taxpayers Channel first reported the creation of this new company, and the possibility that Mr. Brumfield would be purchasing the old EG assets from UMB Bank. See our reporting here: Rumors fly about sale of bankrupt Express Grain assets by UMB Bank

According to Mr. Noble, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce is prepared to issue a license within days. Employees have signed letters of intent, insurance policies are in place, and a local banking relationship established.

Mr. Noble stated that everything is ready to begin operations of the two warehouses as soon as the sale closes.

Thoroughbred intends to hold and operate the oil mill. No mention was made of how long it will take to resume those operations.

At the end of the hearing, the court granted the motion to clarify, allowing the final closure of the sale to take place without further legal delay.

The court expressed its happiness that the new owners will be able to continue to operate the old Express Grain business, and hoped that this will contribute to greater success in the Delta's farming community and economy.

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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