Bankrupt U.S. ethanol maker VeraSun Energy Corp. late on Monday said it recently received a “non-binding indication of interest” from an unidentified third party to acquire substantially all of VeraSun’s assets.

The largest publicly traded U.S. ethanol producer said it intends to pursue the indication of interest to its conclusion and also evaluate any other proposals it may receive in accordance with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy code.

"The indication of interest received by the company is subject to significant conditions, and there can be no assurance that it will result in the consummation of a transaction, that the company will receive any other offers or indications of interest, that the company will be able to complete any alternative transaction or that any transaction or transactions would generate proceeds sufficient to satisfy the claims of all of the company's stakeholders," VeraSun said in a press release.

The company said that due to confidentiality considerations it cannot disclose the identity of the third party and also the terms of its indication of interest.

POET LLC's chief executive, Jeff Broin, said on Tuesday that company "is in serious discussions with a couple of ethanol producers regarding possible acquisitions," but refused to say whether bankrupt VeraSun is a potential target, citing “confidentiality agreements.”

POET, which in 2007, was the largest U.S. ethanol producer, has long been on the short list of potential acquirers of VeraSun, according to analysts. Also on the list is Archer Daniels Midland Co.

VeraSun, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 31, last week reported a $476 million third-quarter net loss, which was more than four times the loss the company had predicted only weeks earlier.

At the time, the company warned that its future was uncertain and would depend on a number of factors, including its ability to secure adequate financing during bankruptcy proceedings and its ability to maintain adequate cash.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.