Principle Capital Holdings SA - Principle Cap Hldngs - Launch of Principle Energy


RNS Number:5735J
Principle Capital Holdings S.A.
11 December 2007


PRINCIPLE CAPITAL HOLDINGS S.A.
("Principle Capital" or the "Company")

LAUNCH OF PRINCIPLE ENERGY LIMITED

The Company is pleased to announce that it has secured funding for the first phase of a project to be undertaken by Principle Energy Limited ("PEL"), whose mission is to become a leading producer of low-cost ethanol. PEL is a new company within the Principle Capital group of managed companies.

The first project comprises a greenfield project in the central region of Mozambique near Dombe.

Key project highlights are as follows:

-The building of a single large scale integrated ethanol from sugar cane production facility

-Total project funding of $290m, including equity funding and project financing

-PEL has raised approximately $70m of equity funding which will take the project into 2009 subsequent equity fund raising for the project of approximately $90m expected to be combined with an IPO

-PEL has secured approximately 23,000 hectares of workable land, 20,000 hectares to be planted with sugar cane and fully irrigated

-Expected cane yields over 50% higher than the Brazilian average, due to quality of soils, climate and irrigation

-Feasibility modelling completed and independently verified by industry experts in July 2007

-Significant positive social, economic and environmental impact on the local and wider economies and population

Approval for the project has been obtained at provincial level and within the relevant governmental departments. PEL has submitted its application for final approval, which it anticipates obtaining before the end of January 2008. Drawdown of the equity funding raised is conditional on this approval being obtained.

Principle Capital has assembled a team of experts to manage the project, including Paul Zorner, Chief Technology Officer, who was the former Chief Scientist for Dow Chemical's Global Biotechnology platform and Richard Hurly, Chief Operating Officer, an agronomist with extensive experience on large scale Southern African agricultural projects, particularly working with South Africa's Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). In addition it has engaged three major project partners, to manage the engineering, agricultural and chemical aspects of the project.

Principle Capital has established a subsidiary company called Principle Energy Management Services Limited ("PEMS"), which has entered into a five year management contract with PEL, pursuant to which it is entitled to management and performance fees from PEL. Principle Capital Partners Limited, a subsidiary of the Company, has been granted warrants to subscribe for new shares in PEL, which will be utilised to incentivise those involved in PEL's projects as well as to benefit the Principle Capital group. Principle Capital is investing $5m in PEL.

Brian Myerson commented "I have been in business for over 20 years and this is probably the most exciting project that I have ever been involved with. The future for ethanol, as the leading biofuel, is compelling. Sugar cane is the best feedstock to produce ethanol because of the very efficient energy conversion, which also makes it the most environmentally friendly. And Mozambique provides the perfect place to produce ethanol from sugar cane - the climate, soils and irrigation give it yields 70% greater than the Brazilian average."

Collins Stewart advised PEL on the equity fund raising.

Enquiries:

Principle Capital
Anne Dalen
+44 (0)20 7240 3222

Bell Pottinger
Dan De Belder
+ 44 (0)20 7861 3232

Landsbanki Securities (UK) Limited
NOMAD to Principle Capital
Tom Hulme
+44 (0)20 7426 9000

Collins Stewart Europe Limited
Financial Adviser to Principle Energy Limited Hugh Field
+44 20 7523 8000