Rentech deal is finally closed

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, June 4, 2008

NATCHEZ — On Tuesday afternoon the last contracts were finalized, the land changed hands — and the Rentech land deal closed.

Rentech’s vice president of corporate communications and governmental affairs, Tom Sayles confirmed the finalization late Tuesday evening.

“The transaction is closed,” he said. “We’re delighted.”

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Over the past weeks county officials had been working day and night to finalize the transaction between International Paper, Rentech and Adams County.

The deal was originally slated to close on March 28.

However issues concerning mineral rights postponed the deal for an additional 60 days.

June 1 was designated as the new closing date.

Late last week the closing was again threatened by contract negations between Rentech and the St. Catherine’s Creek Utility Authority.

The Utility Authority contract was rectified late Monday.

Several individuals involved with the project believed it to be the last hurdle for the closing.

However, clarification with titles could not be completed until Tuesday when the deal finally closed.

But now, no matter the hurdles, the deal is done.

Those who have worked closely with the project were thrilled by Tuesday’s news.

Supervisor Darryl Grennell was President of the Adams County Board of Supervisors nearly three years ago when talks between the county and Rentech first began.

Grennell recalled a meeting between Rentech officials, county officials and himself.

“I was there with Woody (Allen) and Bob (Latham) and I knew it was good for the county,” he said. “This is a project we worked hard on, it’s good to see it finished.”

Sayles agreed with Grennell and said the project would ultimately be a benefit for the area.

“It’s a win-win for the company and the county,” he said. “We’re very excited.”

Member of the Natchez-Adams County Economic Development Authority Board, Woody Allen, also voiced excitement about Tuesday’s finalization.

Allen, like Grennell, worked on the project for several years.

“This is going to be great for the county,” he said. “There will be jobs coming from this.”

While Rentech has not elaborated on immediate plans for the site, in the past representative said they will first do site studies and some demolition.

Once completed Rentech’s facility will produce ultra clean burning fuel and several other chemicals.

While Tuesday’s news was pleasing to all, board president Henry Watts added one of the most critical confirmations for the entire deal.

“I actually saw the check and the promissory note to the county,” he said.

Watts said the land was purchased for approximately $9.5 million.

Of that the county will receive nearly $3 million.