Monday, November 22, 2021

Express Grain Collapse Over $100 Million

The implosion of Express Grain is a several hundred – million dollar wave crashing into the Delta economy. Bankruptcy court documents filed by the company reveal its true condition. The bankruptcy threatens hundreds of Delta farmers, banks, and even the Greenwood public utility with severe financial losses.

Express Grain Terminals opened in 2007 and is a major grain elevator for farmers in the Mississippi Delta. Dr. Michael Coleman and his son John Coleman own Express Grain Terminals although John's share is 1%.  Express Processing open in 2015 and Express Biodiesel opened in 2018. Express Grain owns the other two companies.

It appears growing pains killed the company. The company's revenue nearly tripled in only three years. Financial statements submitted to the bankruptcy court state the company enjoyed gross revenue of  $249 million in 2021, $130 million in 2020, and $95 million in 2019.  More business means more equipment is needed. More business means more payouts to farmers. The company borrowed heavily from UMB Bank to fund the growth but it continued to sink and to its present underwater state.

The company reports total liabilities of $106 million in assets of $101 million. However, the company owes another $9 million to farmers. The secured claims are $70 million while unsecured claims are $36 million.  Total amount owed to farmers is $41 million.  The top twenty unsecured creditors report  claims of over $23 million. Their statement is posted below. 

The damage does not stop with farmers losing their crops. More than a few banks place liens on harvests when farmers borrowed against them. No crop equals no money. No money equals bank gets stiffed.

UMB Bank forced the company into bankruptcy when it sued Express Grain for fraud in September.  UMB issued a $40 million revolving loan and a $35 million term loan to the defendants. The bank extended the loans several times this year. The bank allegedly caught the company submitting false financial statements. UMB declared Express Grain in default on loans of $71 million and filed suit in Leflore County Chancery Court. The grain elevator operator filed a Chapter 11 petition in federal court the next day.Earlier post.

A group of farmers filed a class-action lawsuit against UMB Bank two weeks ago. They accused the bank of keeping the broke borrower afloat just long enough to steal the harvests delivered to the grain elevator without paying for them Earlier post. 

Ironically, the $33,000 check issued to Express Grain's bankruptcy attorney, Craig Geno, bounced.

There are 1,177 entries in the case.

List of documents posted below

Page 1: bankruptcy petition 

Page 10: list of past 90 day transactions

Page 59: summary of assets and liabilities

Page 95: list of creditors

Page 135: grain report


Anonymous said...

Paving the way for Bill Gates to swoop in and buy it. And he will. See, the devil also works in mysterious ways folks. Ain't it kooooooo ?

Anonymous said...

There is more than a grain of truth here.

Anonymous said...

Is this Bennie's area?

Anonymous said...

yes its bennie's area
Do you think Bennie would bail those honkys out??

Anonymous said...

That bank should be held accountable for not pulling the chain before harvest and knowing they were insolvent while still taking in peoples crops. I’m sure they had an off record gentleman’s agreement on it. All of them should be held accountable even if it means working the debt off working poly pipe until they die.

Anonymous said...

Lots of deer camps for sale about now…utvs and girlfriends Mercedes…..fancy houses on bayous…..

Probably more than one murder about to occur

Anonymous said...

Wow, $31 million in pre-petition unsecured farmers' claims. They are screwed...

Anonymous said...

Time to hope you havent lent money to the local high dolla nail salons and titty bars!

Anonymous said...

These grains companies act as banks for farmers. Is there no regulation by the USDA? Can anyone with real world experience chime in?

Anonymous said...

"...growing pains killed the company."

That's what it always is. It killed Amazon, Apple, Walmart, and on down the line. Sheesh.

Too much growth never killed any company. Mismanagement of growth or malfeasance by management kills companies large and small every day. And before anyone foolishly goes there, this is not a publicly-traded company whose stock price mattered one way or the other separate from the operation of the company. This was a private company whose principals acted in a way to cause the issue. As an example, I am not a fan of Tesla's stock, but credit where it is due - Musk didn't attempt to cash in unto it was plainly foolish to not do so and economic pressure forced the issue.

Here's a tip for novice investors, public, i.e., stock market or private: If ANYONE, principals or investors, are attempting to cash in on the first signs of money to be made, it will be a mess. Cashing in does not mean taking a reasonable return at appropriate points, it means cashing in on OPM rather than the business. It doesn't take much examination to see what went on here. This was by no objective definition an attempt to build a business, this was nothing more than an attempt to cash in on OPM. If you don't understand the very marked difference, you should never invest in businesses, private or public.

Anonymous said...

Twenty seven golf carts? I kid you not.
The grain company owned 27 golf carts.

Anonymous said...

Wal*Mart market Cap $399.85 Billion
Amazon market cap $1799.87 Billion
Apple market cap $2.62 Trillion

Don't see the connection since this debacle was a much lower market cap. Yes these 3 grew from nothing to behemoths. The grain elevator was at best a large business but not large enough to handle growth. With growth come expenses as Kingfish pointed out. I have seen retail business have success with one or two stores or restaurants but as soon as they try to expand the hard cold facts come crashing down and its name is DOOM. It happens everyday in this country. Sometime its about ego, money, pride, total lack of experience or a friendly banker. Most but not all start out with the best intentions but once in so deep the digging starts and finally the hole is so deep they can't get out honorably. IMHO


Anonymous said...

BioDiesel is a TWO BILLION dollar a year cash cow for unneeded biofuels. The money's too good to avoid the hysterical, eye gouging, bend or break every rule fight for it. And this and another thread are living proof of the alleged crimes folks in this area are willing to commit to gather all of Uncle Sugar's sweet sweet farm welfare for themselves. Follow the bio and ethanol trail.

More of this Green/Yellow Gold to come. MUCH more if that bill is passed.

Anonymous said...

The local farm economy should not be used for speculation into biofuels, i.e., gambling with other people's money. Thus the failure of the latter should not result in the failure of the former. Just my $0.02.

Anonymous said...

According to court records, Express Grain lied to the bank about the amount of grain owned by Express Grain and in its silos. The bank was fully secured and had no reason to call the loans until the lies were discovered. The value of grain actually owned by Express Grain was far less than the debts owed to the bank.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Lusco’s picked a good time to close. Most of the patrons are being forced to go to McDonalds.

Anonymous said...

Attn 14:14 I used to be an auditor for a large bank. We checked our collateral at least every 8 weeks. If the collateral was not there, they had to write a check. We checked more often if there were any red flags. Don’t tell you can not see fraud coming. This did not prevent all losses, but it greatly reduced the extent of the losses. The owners of course are guilty and will probably go to jail, but the bank was incompetent in their business dealings and no doubt will have to answer for it.

Wow said...

Crimes of the Delta Welfare State.

Anonymous said...

@2:05 - these are the crimes of greedy and unregulated capitalists.

Anonymous said...

@12:49, the collateral - the grain - was there. But it had been sold, and Express falsely represented that it was still owned, according to court filings.

Anonymous said...

Realtor here!

I have some very nice homes in the delta which just hit the market!

If you hurry you can even pick out the color of the luggage the owners are packing to flee the scene!

But wait, there’s more! Act now and we will throw in 26 golf carts!

Anonymous said...

The farmers will be made whole by the gubment. Doesn't it usually work that way?

Besides, Bennie is the voice of the Delta in D.C.

That'sMisterDeplorableToYou said...

@12:14 Speaking of restaurants in Greenwood, anyone remember what the name of the restaurant that was a sort of "private club" and you had to have a key card to get in?

This would have been very late 60s or very early 70s, and long before people were accustomed to opening doors with cards, so it made an impression on me. I was 6 or 7 years old and a friend of mine's parents took us there for his birthday. I distinctly remember that his father had a gold-colored card with a large black skeleton key printed on it that had to be inserted in a slot to gain entrance to the restaurant. I remember it being very swanky and the kids' menu was one choice: veal cutlets which I had never had before, but remember very much enjoying.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS