Rentech deal set to close

Published 12:25 am Thursday, May 15, 2008

NATCHEZ — After nearly two months of delays the Rentech land deal is slated to close on June 1 — it may even happen earlier.

Attorney Bob Latham, hired by Adams County to facilitate the closing, said the final paperwork could be completed as early as next Friday.

After the March closing was postponed, June 1 became the new target date for closing.

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“Things are going well,” he said.

The deal that would have transferred several hundred acres of land from International Paper to Rentech was supposed to have been completed at the end of March.

However days before the scheduled closing a 60-day postponement was announced.

At the time Rentech’s vice president for corporate and government communications, Tom Sayles, said there were issues that needed to be clarified before the deal could close.

On Wednesday Latham said all necessary documentation had been circulated to those possessing mineral rights on the land, and that the documents had been signed and returned or were expected back with in days.

While Rentech officials have not confirmed the possible early closing date yet, Sayles said the project is still scheduled to close prior to June 1.

“Progress is ongoing,” he said.

And progress has been going on.

Latham said while the mineral rights issues postponed the project, work on the closing never stopped.

While resolution was being sought with the mineral rights Latham said the paperwork between all involved parties continued to circulate.

“We haven’t stopped working,” he said.

President of the Adams County Board of Supervisors, Henry Watts, said he was thrilled to see the deal near a closing.

“We look forward to Rentech getting their plant up and running,” he said.

But just when the plant will be up and running is not known.

Rentech’s senior vice president of operations, John Diesch, said once the deal is closed there won’t be a great deal of activity at the site initially.

Diesch said engineering work and some maintenance work on existing buildings still needs to be completed before actual construction can start.

Once operational, Rentech’s plant will make several different chemicals including an ultra clean burning fuel.