Enviva Proceeds Into Chapter 11




Enviva Inc., the world’s largest producer of industrial wood pellets, and certain of its subsidiaries have commenced voluntary Chapter 11 proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, citing $1.8 billion of debt outstanding.

Trouble for Enviva became apparent when it filed a 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission upon releasing its third quarter 2003 earnings report, which stated, “Our future profitability and liquidity are expected to be negatively impacted by the following matters which have resulted in substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

At the time, Enviva specifically pointed to agreements in late 2022 for it to purchase 1.8 million metric tons from a client, believing that the global wood pellet market was substantially short for the foreseeable future and these purchases would provide an opportunity to flexibly capture margin in future periods. However, market prices for wood pellets during 2023 fell well below the elevated spot market prices of fourth quarter 2022 and lower than the prices at which Enviva agreed to purchase these volumes. As a result, according to Enviva, the anticipated loss on the sale of the purchased volumes was expected to negatively impact the company’s cash flow and liquidity through 2025.

Enviva said it was in negotiation with the existing customer to restructure or renegotiate the terms of the 2022 purchase transactions. Recent reports indicate the trade was with German utilities concern RWE, and that Enviva still owes $348.7 million for the transaction. According to reports, there may have been a lack of internal communication about the commencement of the transaction at Enviva.

Upon the Chapter 11 announcement, Enviva said it has entered into two Restructuring Support Agreements (RSAs). The restructuring is targeted to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2024, and Enviva plans to continue constructing its Epes plant, with an in-service date expected to be during the first half of 2025, but the company announced plans to pause development of the Bond, Miss. facility.

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