MAUMEE, OHIO, U.S. — The Andersons, Inc. on Oct. 2 announced it has joined Marathon Petroleum Corp. in merging four ethanol entities into the new legal entity The Andersons Marathon Holdings LLC (TAMH).

The ethanol facilities involved in the merger include those in Albion, Michigan, U.S.; Clymers, Indiana, U.S.; and Greenville, Ohio, U.S., which were all previously jointly owned by The Andersons and Marathon Petroleum; and The Andersons’ wholly-owned ethanol facility in Denison, Iowa, U.S.

Effective Oct. 1, The Andersons and Marathon Petroleum own 50.1% and 49.9% of TAMH equity, respectively. The transaction will result in the consolidation of TAMH’s results in The Andersons’ financial statements.

In conjunction with the merger agreement, TAMH has entered into several new long-term services agreements with The Andersons. Under those agreements, The Andersons will continue to operate the four plants, buy corn, market ethanol and other coproducts and manage risk for TAMH.

The merger will result in a step-up in the book basis of the Albion, Clymers and Greenville assets and a sizable one-time, non-cash gain to The Andersons in the fourth quarter. The asset step-up also will result in higher depreciation expense. The amounts of both the gain and the additional depreciation are still being determined. In addition, the debt previously held by the separate entities was refinanced using a new $200 million TAMH credit facility.

Patrick E. Bowe, president and CEO. Photo courtesy of The Andersons.

“I am excited about the benefits this merger will provide for our ethanol business,” said Patrick E. Bowe, president and chief executive officer of The Andersons. “It will allow our commercial teams to trade corn, ethanol and DDGs freely among the four facilities to achieve optimal profitability, and our procurement team to leverage the resulting larger purchasing power. The simplified structure will also make cash management and borrowing more efficient and improve transparency for investors and lenders.”

James J. Pirolli, president of The Andersons Ethanol Group, added, “We have enjoyed and benefited from our partnership with Marathon Petroleum in the ethanol business since 2006. In addition to other benefits, TAMH will provide an excellent platform for future growth.”

In the company’s most recent earnings report released in August, the Ethanol Group’s first-half pretax income fell to $4.589 million, which compared with $9.953 million in 2018. Revenue increased to $453.9 million in the first half of 2019, which compared with $375.4 million in the same period as last year. 

“The Ethanol Group continues to make the best of an extremely unfavorable margin environment,” Bowe said. “Low or negative crush margins prevented the group from locking in any forward margins for the third quarter. Given the current margin environment, the group plans to run its plant to optimize yield and profitability, which will reduce costs and could lower some volumes.”

Founded in Maumee, Ohio, in 1947, The Andersons is a diversified company rooted in agriculture, conducting business across North America in the grain, ethanol, plant nutrient and rail sectors.