Shares in Pacific Ethanol lost almost half their value in morning trading after the biggest West Coast-based producer and marketer of ethanol announced that it had put its production facilities in California, Oregon and Idaho into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The company said on May 12 that it would likely need to file for bankruptcy if it was not able to restructure its debt.
A string of energy firms have filed for Chapter 11 recently, suffering from weak U.S. demand that has depressed prices and margins. VeraSun Energy, once the largest publicly listed U.S. ethanol maker, filed for bankruptcy last year.
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