Release Date: July 21, 2008
Performance Plants Inc. Announces Equity Financing
Accelerates Food Crop and Biofuels Biotechnology Businesses
Kingston, Ontario – July 21, 2008 – Performance Plants Inc. ("PPI"), a leading global agricultural biotechnology company with research and development facilities in Kingston, Ontario, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Waterloo, New York, announced today the completion of a $13 million equity financing.
PPI has developed and patented a range of stress-resistant crop seed technologies (weatherproofing "traits") that deliver higher yields and more consistent and cost effective harvests for farmers and feedstock suppliers under conditions of environmental stress such as drought and excessive heat or cold. The company’s traits are being evaluated for food crops both internally and in partnership with world-leading seed companies including DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred, Syngenta Biotechnology, Stine Seed Company, RiceTec Inc. and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.
The company’s breakthrough Yield Protection Technology® ("YPT®") is at the heart of its suite of technologies. YPT® enables plants to better tolerate drought conditions and to recover faster when watered.
Extensive field trials of YPT® corn are underway for the third year in the United States, and field trials will begin in South America later in the year.
PPI is also developing non-food biomass crops such as switchgrass, Miscanthus grass and hemp for biofuels use that can be grown on marginal farmland with increased convertibility to fermentable sugars. The Company recently purchased a world-class biotechnology research facility in Waterloo, New York that will become the centre for its biofuels research activities. PPI also recently entered into a multi-year agreement with Lafarge Canada Inc. to develop and grow clean energy biomass for use as fuel at the Lafarge Cement Plant in Bath, Ontario.
The funds raised will be used to further develop and expand PPI’s portfolio of crop seed traits, accelerate commercialization of the company’s food crop traits, and aggressively develop its biofuels business plan and expand its clean energy industrial partnerships.
The equity financing was led by Ceres Global Ag Corp. of Toronto, Ontario. Eastwood Capital Corp. was the other major investor in the financing. Ceres Global Ag Corp. was established in December 2007 to invest in leading global public and non-public agricultural businesses.
It is listed on the TSX (TSX-CRP) and is managed by Front Street Capital and Muir Detlefsen & Associates Ltd. Eastwood Capital Corp. is an investment holding company owned by William T. Holland of Toronto, Ontario. Other investors include a syndicate of private Boston investors, including Saturn Asset Management, and Montreal-based Endurseaux Inc.
"This investment signals a strong endorsement of the company’s patented food and biofuels biotechnology," said Peter Matthewman, President, Performance Plants Inc., "and will facilitate the aggressive development of our food crops and biomass feedstocks for liquid transportation fuels, coal replacement and biochemicals."
"Ceres Global Ag Corp. provides investors with an opportunity to gain private equity exposure to leading global agricultural businesses, such as Performance Plants Inc.," said Tom Muir, Chief Transaction Officer & Director, Ceres Global Ag Corp. "As the world grapples with shortages of food and increasing food prices, PPI’s yield-enhancing technologies put it at the forefront of providing solutions for increased global food production."
Performance Plants Inc.