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Bankruptcy court judge approves Hoku sale

Tuesday marks round two as trustees, auctioneers, and bidders went back to the auction block to try selling the former Hoku Materials plant once again.

JH Kelly once again came out the victor, winning the bid at a low $8.3 million.

The Washington-based company won the previous bid during the first auction held in October at $5.3 million, but the sale was not approved by the bankruptcy court.

Today, Judge Jim D. Pappas approved the sale, saying the trustees did not provide adequate details of the sale process in November’s hearing. This time, he said the trustees proved the terms of the auction were fair and the lack of objections from potential bidders implies all parties understood those terms.

Hoku trustee Gary Rainsdon testified in court on Tuesday saying the process was fair. He also believes the sale price ended-up proving significantly less than the estimated $700 million market price the entire facility is valued at.

Pappas said if JH Kelly does not close the sale within 72 hours, the bid will end up defaulting in the hands of the only other company bidding for the facility, Howell and Olson, at $8.25 million.

Founder and CEO of JCF Funding Francis Kreais said over the phone he plans on moving into the facility once JH Kelly buys it. The Nevada-based company said it plans on creating up to 3,000 new jobs in Pocatello within the first three years it is up and running.

Click here to learn more about the company’s plan for the facility:

Judge Pappas also ruled the sale assets must be free and clear of liens and claims, and 12 percent of the sale price will go toward paying-back the unsecured creditors who lost money when the plant filed for bankruptcy.

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