KINGSTON, ON, July 21 /CNW/ - 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(R) ("YPT(R)") is
at the heart of its suite of technologies. YPT(R) enables plants to better
tolerate drought conditions and to recover faster when watered. Extensive
field trials of YPT(R) 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 multiyear 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 Limited. 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."
For further information:
For further information: Peter Matthewman, President, Performance Plants
Inc., (613) 545-0390, firstname.lastname@example.org; Brenda Pergantes,
PRCommunications Inc., (416) 413-9978, email@example.com