Pacific Ethanol Closes Financing Transaction to Reduce Plant Debt and Acquire Additional Plant Ownership Interest

Pacific Ethanol Closes Financing Transaction to Reduce Plant Debt and Acquire
Additional Plant Ownership Interest

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pacific Ethanol, Inc.
(Nasdaq:PEIX), the leading marketer and producer of low-carbon renewable fuels
in the Western United States, has closed the first tranche of a financing
transaction under which the company:

  *Issued $6.0 million in Series A subordinated convertible notes
  *Purchased $2.6 million of Plant debt originally due in June 2013, now
    extended to June 2016
  *Acquired an additional 3% Plant ownership interest, increasing its
    ownership to over 83%
  *Purchased and retired $3.5 million of Plant debt maturing in 2016
  *Increased a Plant credit facility by $5.0 million

A second tranche under the financing agreements of $8.0 million of Series B
subordinated convertible notes is scheduled to close in June 2013, subject to
the satisfaction of certain closing conditions, including stockholder approval
of the financing transaction.

Neil Koehler, the company's president and CEO, stated: "With the closing of
these transactions, we have made significant improvements to the company's
balance sheet by reducing plant debt and extending debt maturities, reducing
overall interest costs and increasing our ownership interest in the Pacific
Ethanol Plants to over 83%.Upon completion of the second tranche of the
financing, we will have eliminated our Plant debt due in 2013, providing a
more stable capital structure for the long term growth of our company."

About Pacific Ethanol, Inc.

Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (Nasdaq:PEIX) is the leading marketer and producer of
low-carbon renewable fuels in the Western United States. Pacific Ethanol also
sells co-products, including wet distillers grain ("WDG"), a nutritious animal
feed. Serving integrated oil companies and gasoline marketers who blend
ethanol into gasoline, Pacific Ethanol provides transportation, storage and
delivery of ethanol through third-party service providers in the Western
United States, primarily in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Oregon,
Colorado, Idaho and Washington. Pacific Ethanol has an 83% ownership interest
in New PE Holdco LLC, the owner of four ethanol production facilities. Pacific
Ethanol operates and manages the four ethanol production facilities, which
have a combined annual production capacity of 200 million gallons. The
facilities in operation are located in Boardman, Oregon, Burley, Idaho and
Stockton, California, and one idled facility is located in Madera, California.
The facilities are near their respective fuel and feed customers, offering
significant timing, transportation cost and logistical advantages. Pacific
Ethanol's subsidiary, Kinergy Marketing LLC, markets ethanol from Pacific
Ethanol's managed plants and from other third-party production facilities, and
another subsidiary, Pacific Ag. Products, LLC, markets WDG. For more
information please visit www.pacificethanol.net.

The Pacific Ethanol, Inc. logo is available at
http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=5940

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995

With the exception of historical information, the matters discussed in this
press release including, without limitation, the ability of Pacific Ethanol to
continue as the leading marketer and producer of low-carbon renewable fuels in
the Western United States; the ability of Pacific Ethanol to timely close the
second tranche of its note offering and related transactions, which are
subject to numerous closing conditions, including stockholder approval of the
financing transaction, on the proposed terms and conditions; and the effects
of the financing and related transactions are forward-looking statements and
considerations that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The actual
future results of Pacific Ethanol could differ from those statements. Factors
that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not
limited to, adverse economic and market conditions; changes in governmental
regulations and policies; and other events, factors and risks previously and
from time to time disclosed in Pacific Ethanol's filings with the Securities
and Exchange Commission including, specifically, those factors set forth in
the "Risk Factors" section contained in Pacific Ethanol's Form 10-K to be
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission later today, April 1, 2013.

CONTACT: Company IR Contact:
         Pacific Ethanol, Inc.
         916-403-2755
         866-508-4969
         Investorrelations@pacificethanol.net
        
         IR Agency Contact:
         Becky Herrick
         LHA
         415-433-3777
        
         Media Contact:
         Paul Koehler
         Pacific Ethanol, Inc.
         916-403-2790
         paulk@pacificethanol.net

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