Ceres to Expand Product Development in Sorghum and Sugarcane Under Brazil’s Agricultural Innovation Program
July 28, 2014 (Source: PRNewswire) — Ceres, Inc. (Nasdaq: CERE), an agricultural biotechnology and seed company, today announced that the company will enhance its product development programs in Brazil and expand its development activities in biotech traits for sorghum and sugarcane over the next four years. The programs will now be funded in part under the Brazilian government’s PAISS Agricola initiative, which promotes agricultural innovations in sugarcane as well as other energy crops.
Under the PAISS program, Ceres is eligible for a multi-year credit facility of up to 75.4 million reais, or approximately US$34 million, at a government-subsidized, preferential interest rate. Receipt of the loan will be subject to customary diligence, documentation and closing conditions, and will require guarantees to be provided by or obtained by Ceres. The company was also awarded 10 million reais, or approximately US$4.5 million, in the form of non-repayable grants to be drawn over four years. Ceres expects to complete the application and grant award process by the end of calendar year 2014.
“We were pleased to be selected to participate in this prestigious agricultural innovation program and to receive this clear endorsement for utilizing sorghum and biotechnology in sugarcane to increase production of ethanol and biopower,” said Paul Kuc, Chief Financial Officer of Ceres. “The funding will allow us to accelerate our product development programs in Brazil and will extend our capital resources as we continue to develop the commercial markets for our technology and products.”
Andre Franco, General Manager of Ceres Sementes do Brasil, indicated that embracing innovations has been the cornerstone of Brazil’s success in agricultural commodities. In this case, Brazil can not only adopt new technologies, but also take the lead in developing them domestically.
“Increasing yields and providing greater yield stability from season to season represents a key opportunity for Brazil to strengthen its global position in sugar and ethanol production,” said Franco. “We look forward to working with our mill customers and other industry leaders to evaluate and bring new products to market that can increase efficiencies and lower the cost of production.”
The PAISS project is jointly managed by Brazil’s national development bank, BNDES, and by the government’s research financing agency, FINEP. The competitive application process included over 60 proposals. Ceres was one of only five organizations to be selected for both a loan and a grant.
Ceres, Inc. is an agricultural biotechnology company that markets seeds for energy crops used in the production of renewable transportation fuels, electricity and bio-based products. Ceres markets its products under its Blade brand. The company also licenses its technology and biotech traits to other organizations.
CERES FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, including statements regarding Ceres’ efforts to develop and commercialize its products, anticipated yields and product performance, status of crop plantings, short-term and long-term business strategies, market and industry expectations, future operating metrics, and future results of operations and financial position, including anticipated cost savings from our plan to align expenditures, are forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond Ceres’ control. Factors that could materially affect actual results can be found in Ceres’ filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Ceres undertakes no obligation to update publicly, except to the extent required by law, any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date the company issues this press release to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in the company’s expectations.
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