The bondholders with ultimate authority to sell a $90 million waste plant in Hampden to a Pennsylvania company are several investment funds run from outside of Maine, U.S. Security and Exchange Commission data show.
The $52 million in bonds is held in two separate bonds, one valued at $45 million when issued and the other at $5 million, issued separately by the Finance Authority of Maine to fund the construction of the Coastal Resources of Maine plant formerly run by Fiberight in 2017 and 2019.
Delta Thermo Energy is inching closer to purchasing the Coastal Resources of Maine plant by the end of June, despite the company’s CEO, Rob Van Naarden, mischaracterizing the company’s domestic and foreign work in previous statements.
The Coastal Resources of Maine plant closed after six months of commercial operations in May 2020 after it struggled to pay its bills and to fund a set of performance upgrades. At the time the plant stopped operating, it owed more than $50 million to contractors and creditors.
The U.S. Bank National Association, an affiliate of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, has represented the bondholders as trustee throughout the negotiations with Delta Thermo.
U.S. Bank communications vice president Lee Henderson confirmed that the bank is a trustee on a bond connected to the project but said he could not reveal any further information about the sale.
Members of the Municipal Review Committee, the public body representing the 100-plus Maine communities whose trash is slated to go to the Coastal Resources plant, have long emphasized that it is the bondholders who have ultimate authority to sell the plant to Delta Thermo.
However, the Municipal Review Committee has released scant information about the nature of the bondholders, though documents on its website do list U.S. Bank as the bondholders’ trustee. On Wednesday, executive director Michael Carroll said Municipal Review Committee members did not have any “specific knowledge” about who owned the bonds, as they had dealt with U.S. Bank during negotiations.
While the Coastal Resources of Maine plant has loomed large in the minds of many Maine residents throughout the nearly six months of negotiations, the bonds make up a small part of numerous assets owned by each of the investors.
Boston-based State Street Global Advisors has $3.6 trillion in assets. Some of the other holders include New York City-based investment manager VanEck and financial services non-profit Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America.
Most of the bonds are owned by organizations based in major financial hubs, though investment management firm PIMCO is based in Newport Beach, California, and SEI Investments Company in Oaks, Pennsylvania.
While it is unclear how aware each of the companies are of the plant’s potential sale, there is evidence they are kept informed about some matters: an August 2020 notice from U.S. Bank informed bondholders about several lien claims from contractors.
The bondholders and Municipal Review Committee chose Delta Thermo Energy from seven prospective buyers who had sent letters of interest to the bondholders and Municipal Review Committee. Delta Thermo signed a memorandum of understanding with the Municipal Review Committee approved by the bondholders on Dec. 29, 2020.
The Municipal Review Committee owns the land on which the plant sits and controls the permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection necessary for it to operate.