UPDATE 1-Hawkeye Energy unit files "pre-packaged" Chapter 11

Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:17am EST

* Says plan "overwhelmingly" accepted by first lien lenders

* Hawkeye Growth, Hawkeye Gold not included in filing

* Lists assets in the range of $100 mln to $500 mln

* Lists debt in the range of $500 mln to $1 bln

Dec 21 (Reuters) - Ethanol producer Hawkeye Energy Holdings LLC said its unit, Hawkeye Renewables LLC, filed for bankruptcy protection under a pre-arranged plan that will convert debt into equity.

In a statement, the company said the plan had been "overwhelmingly" accepted by its first lien lenders.

The company added that its other units Hawkeye Growth, which owns and operates ethanol plants in Menlo and Shell Rock, Iowa, and Hawkeye Gold, which is responsible for marketing ethanol and distillers grains, were not part of the reorganization and are unaffected by the bankruptcy filing.

In court papers, the company listed assets in the range of $100 million to $500 million and debt in the range of $500 million to $1 billion.

U.S. ethanol producers were hard hit by the economic downturn in 2008 with many companies forced into bankruptcy.

The case is In re: Hawkeye Renewables LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 09-14461 (Reporting by Santosh Nadgir in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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