AgStar Financial Services' lending group announces Guardian Energy LLC, headquartered in Shakopee, MN, has entered into an agreement to purchase the Janesville, MN ethanol plant.

Guardian Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian Eagle Investments, formed to own and operate this ethanol facility in Janesville.

A binding purchase agreement was recently signed and the sale is expected to close by September 15, 2009. Guardian Energy plans to have the plant fully operational within 30-60 days of the closing date. The 100-million gallon plant was acquired by the AgStar lending group through VeraSun Energy's bankruptcy in March of 2009.

Paul DeBriyn, president and CEO of AgStar Financial Services said, "We are excited to have a regional group of producers who own successful ethanol plants purchase this facility. We know they are committed to maintaining the value of the ethanol industry for local producers." AgStar will continue to lead a group of lenders in financing Guardian Energy. "We're excited this plant will begin operating soon - providing jobs for rural America, buying corn from local growers, producing ethanol and dried-distillers grain (DDG's) for livestock producers."

Randy Hahn, representative of Guardian Energy and CEO of Renewable Products Marketing Group stated, "Our group of farmer owned ethanol producers are very excited to see this purchase come together. We strongly believe that the value generated by converting our locally grown corn into renewable energy ought to stay here at home. We are committed to keeping this facility in the hands of local producers and farmers." Renewable Products Marketing Group will provide marketing services for the facility.

This purchase agreement represents the AgStar lending group's fourth VeraSun Energy plant sale. The lending group also has a signed purchase agreement for the Dyersville, Iowa ethanol plant (the fifth of six plants) which will be announced later this week. "Although these sales may have taken longer than expected we're satisfied that the outcome is consistent with the plan we had when we acquired these plants," stated DeBriyn.

"I'm very proud of the efforts our team put into getting the Janesville plant in the hands of a company comprised of farmer-owner interests. We believe this sale represents a positive outcome for AgStar's clients and stockholders. I also want to thank the employees in Janesville for their patience and continued support. We look forward to making an announcement on the final VeraSun facility in Hankinson, North Dakota in the very near future," noted DeBriyn.

Terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

About Guardian Eagle Investments:

Guardian Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian Eagle Investments formed to own and operate the ethanol facility in Janesville, Minnesota. Made up of farmer and locally owned ethanol plants, this group sees great value in working together to secure local ownership and to retain the value created at the local level. Members of Guardian Eagle Investments represent 9 plants with the capacity of over 500 million gallons of ethanol each year. The members also represent years of successful ethanol plant operation and pride themselves on their continuous innovation and spirit of cooperation. One of the members' greatest achievements was the development of cooperative marketing and the founding of Renewable Products Marketing Group, one of the leading ethanol marketing companies in the nation.

About Renewable Products Marketing Group:

Founded as a cooperative marketing service serving a group of Minnesota ethanol producers, RPMG has grown to be the third largest ethanol marketer in the U.S. Not only does RPMG provide ethanol marketing nationally and internationally for its members, it also provides marketing for other valuable co products of the ethanol production process like distillers' grains (a high protein animal feed) and corn oil (used in biodiesel production and livestock feed).

About AgStar:

AgStar Financial Services, ACA, headquartered in Mankato, MN, employs more than 610 full-time team members. The company is part of the national Farm Credit System and has a public mission to serve 69 counties in Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. The company has expertise in the corn, soybean, swine, dairy and bio-energy industries. AgStar has developed successful programs in loans, leases, crop insurance, tax services, accounting, consulting and rural home mortgages. As a value-added financial services cooperative, AgStar allocates patronage dividends to its 13,000 stockholders. Visit for more information.

Source: AgStar Financial Services news release