March 2014

Aventine Prevails in Arbitration

Our firm served as lead counsel for the respondent Aventine. Aurora and Aventine were parties to a long-term and exclusive commodity supply agreement for an ethanol plant. Within the master agreement, the parties would periodically price bushels. The parties’ broader relationship deteriorated, resulting in a series of federal lawsuits and an NGFA arbitration. The arbitration related to whether 300,000 bushels had been priced during a period of market volatility in 2012. Aurora initiated the arbitration seeking damages of $1,699,152.33, and Aventine asserted a counterclaim for $417,665.49. The three-member NGFA panel sided with Aventine, rejecting Aurora’s claims. Aurora appealed, and the NGFA Appeal Panel confirmed, on a 3-to-2 vote. Aurora Cooperative Elevator Company v.  Aventine Renewable Energy Inc., No. 2651 (NGFA 2014).

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