LONDON, July 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Active Energy Group Plc (AIM:AEG), the
London Stock Exchange AIM-listed international supplier of industrial
wood chip, timber products and forestry management services, announces
that it has entered into an important new joint venture agreement to
exclusively commercialise in excess of 100,000 hectares (c.250,000
acres) of mature forestry assets in Alberta, Western Canada, which are
expected to yield more than 20 million m3 of commercial standing timber.
The forests, located in Western Canada, are owned by three indigenous
aboriginal groups: the Alberta Métis Settlements of Peavine, Paddle
Prairie and East Prairie.
The partners in the new venture include the three Métis Settlements,
Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson of British Columbia, and Active Energy
The Métis Settlements and Active Energy Group will each hold a 45%
equity interest in the joint venture company, which will be
incorporated in Canada and headquartered in Kelowna, British Columbia,
with the remaining equity to be held by Grand Chief Ronald M.
The new venture represents a landmark arrangement for the Métis: it
provides a mechanism for their rights and assets to be independently
assessed and valued, and for them to receive a fair and equitable share
of the proceeds from the commercialisation of those rights and assets
over the long-term.
Under the agreement, the Métis Settlements will, in exchange for their
equity interest in the joint venture company, grant exclusive rights
over all their forestry assets to the joint venture company; and AEG
will commit to commercialise those forestry assets in exchange for its
The joint venture company will be allowed to enter into sub-leases with
third parties for periods of approximately 200 years to facilitate
long-term economic development for the Métis peoples, in collaboration
with international investors and commercial partners.
The forests are primarily composed of prime mature standing hardwood
(Aspen, Poplar) and softwood (Spruce, Pine, Fir) species. AEG will
aim, with the active involvement of the Métis Settlements Board
representatives, to ensure that sub-lessees and other partners adhere
to internationally-recognised environmental and sustainability
standards, and the highest international forestry stewardship criteria.
All commercial transactions that the joint venture may enter into will
include an obligation to provide local employment for Métis citizens,
and a commitment to contribute to corporate social responsibility
programmes which benefit Métis communities.
This substantial agreement has been promoted and overseen throughout the
negotiation and agreement stages by Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson
and Iner Gauchier, Chairman of the Peavine Métis Settlement, with the
support of Greg Calliou and Gerald Cunningham, respectively Chairmen of
the Paddle Prairie and East Prairie Métis Settlements.
To ensure fair and equitable participation for the indigenous groups in
the management of the joint venture, it has been unanimously agreed
that Grand Chief Derrickson will be appointed Chairman of the new
company, and will be joined on the Board by three representatives from
Active Energy Group and one representative from each of the three Métis
Settlements that are party to the agreement.
Active Energy Group will make further announcements in due course as the
project progresses to establish the value of, and to commercialise, the
substantial forestry assets.
Ronald M. Derrickson, Grand Chief of British Columbia and Chairman of
RMD Group, commented:
"In AEG, the Métis Settlements have finally found a partner with the
experience, vision and international network to enable them to properly
and fairly commercialise their assets for the long-term benefit of
their communities. I first became aware of Richard Spinks - Active
Energy Group's CEO - through his ground-breaking work with Landkom
International in Ukraine, where he successfully created a co-operative
agricultural business that transformed the lives of many thousands of
private land owners. Richard and I have been working together for the
past five years to assemble a deal that finally gives the Métis an
equitable share in the economic development of their forests, and I
know that it will set the standards and terms for further agreements
with other Métis, First Nations and aboriginal groups across Canada to
enable them to develop and commercialise their assets in an equitable
and sustainable manner to bring long-term economic growth, employment
and stability to their communities and their peoples."
Richard Spinks, CEO of Active Energy Group Plc, commented:
"This exciting new venture is the result of many years of working closely
with Grand Chief Derrickson and the Métis leadership to structure an
equitable arrangement that works for all parties, commercialises the
forestry assets in a sustainable and environmentally-sensitive manner,
and allows the Métis communities to actively participate in and benefit
from the proper development of their lands and resources. AEG are
delighted to be partners in this ground-breaking initiative, and my
co-directors and I, two of whom will play a key role in the new company
strategy and operations, are confident that our international timber
industry and forestry management expertise and connections will ensure
its success for current and future generations."
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SOURCE: Active Energy Group Plc
For further information:
Canadian & North American Media
(for enquiries on Friday 18 July 2014)
Tel: +1 587 589 1936
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Tel: +44 20 3151 7008
Active Energy Group Plc
Richard Spinks, Chief Executive Officer
WH Ireland Ltd. (Nominated Adviser and Broker)
Tel: +44 20 7220 1666