MCP: Value-added, little gained


The lessons contained in the proposed settlement of a civil lawsuit arising over Archer Daniels Midland’s
2002 purchase of farmer-owned Minnesota Corn Processors are older than dirt and nearly as common.
The proposed deal, facing an April 12 court review, explains how nine former MCP officials “have decided that it is in their best interest” to pay the 4,800 or so former MCP shareholders $5.575 million, or about 3 cents per share, to “deny all claims and charges” alleging they mismanaged the Sept. 2002, $615 million sale to ADM.
ADM also paying. And although ADM is not a defendant in the suit, the settlement notes the $37 billion ag processing giant will pay an undisclosed portion of the tab “to avoid expenses as nonparties to this litigation.”
In return, the former MCP officials/defendants and ADM get almost bulletproof protections against future claims involving the MCP purchase by the Decatur, Ill., powerhouse.
In the dark. If accepted, the agreement also assures the foggy events that led to the ADM-MCP deal will remain in the fog.
No one will ever know if former “MCP officers and (the) chairman of the board


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Alan Guebert was raised on an 800-acre, 100-cow southern Illinois dairy farm. After graduation from the University of Illinois in 1980, he served as a writer and editor at Professional Farmers of America, Successful Farming magazine and Farm Journal magazine. His syndicated agricultural column, The Farm and Food File, began in June, 1993, and now appears weekly in more than 70 publications throughout the U.S. and Canada. He and spouse Catherine, a social worker, have two adult children.