Pacific Ethanol Enters Into Agreements to Reduce Debt and Increase Ownership in Pacific Ethanol Plants to 91%

Pacific Ethanol Enters Into Agreements to Reduce Debt and Increase Ownership
in Pacific Ethanol Plants to 91%

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pacific Ethanol, Inc.
(Nasdaq:PEIX), the leading marketer and producer of low-carbon renewable fuels
in the Western United States, announced it has entered into agreements to
reduce the principal amount of its senior notes by $2.0 million by issuing
500,000 shares of common stock. The company's common stock is valued in the
transaction at $4.00 per share, the closing price on December 13, 2013.
Reducing the principal on the senior notes by $2.0 million ensures that the
company will avoid scheduled interest rate increases, locking in an annual
rate of five percent for the remaining term of the senior notes.

The company also entered into agreements to purchase an aggregate of 6% of
additional ownership interests in New PE Holdco LLC, the owner of the Pacific
Ethanol plants, for a total cash purchase price of $500,000. The acquisition
will increase the company's ownership interest in the Pacific Ethanol plants
to 91%.

Neil Koehler, the company's president and CEO, stated: "These transactions
reduce principal and future interest on our senior debt and increase our
ownership of the Pacific Ethanol plants at an attractive valuation. The
company is currently benefitting from the best operating margins of the year
and this increase in ownership is immediately accretive to earnings."

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. Upon closing the transactions noted in this
release, Pacific Ethanol will have a 91% 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.

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; and our ability to close the transactions noted in
this release, which transactions are subject to a number of closing
conditions, 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 filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on 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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