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Trinorth acquires Unilever's palm oil plantations in DRC
Published: 03 Sep 2009
Posted in:  Canada | DRC
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Note: According to Feronia's website: "Feronia is focused on acquiring land that has previously been engaged in agricultural production. Political unrest and turmoil in past years has in many cases caused a deterioration of infrastructure and decapitalization of the agricultural sector that has led to a virtual halt in the production of cash crops and a return to subsistence farming to meet local needs. With improved stability, opportunities now exist to acquire control of pre-existing plantations and bring production back online by investing in modern machinery and techniques. Feronia is currently assessing acquiring land from individuals and corporations in a number of African countries." On its "arable farms" the company says, "Feronia's plantations are divided into 2000 Ha farm units for ease of management. Local conditions allow for 3 crops per year grown in rotation. Feronia has mechanized the farms using imported 350 Hp tractor units and combine harvesters to maximise productivity. We have implemented a combination of Brazilian and US large scale agriculture systems for the greatest efficiency and economies of scale." Feronia focuses on the production of soybeans, maize and rice. About soybeans it says, "Cooperation with Brazilian seed research institutes such as Embrapa and private agro-companies such as Monsanto have assisted in the discovery of tropical seed varieties with the necessary characteristics. A mixture of conventional and Genetically Modified seed technologies are utilised on Feronia projects as part of our crop rotation strategy."

FERONIA PRESS RELEASE

TRINORTH’S SUBSIDIARY FERONIA INC. HAS ACQUIRED UNILEVER’S PALM OIL PLANTATION IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Acquisition Significantly Enhances TriNorth’s Presence in African Agriculture Business

TORONTO, ONTARIO, September 3, 2009 - TriNorth Capital Inc. (“TriNorth”) (TSX.V: TRT) is pleased to announce its subsidiary, Feronia Inc., a company it founded to engage in agribusiness in Africa, has concluded the purchase of a 76.2% ownership stake in Plantations et Huileries du Congo S.C.A.R.L. (“PHC”).  The terms of the transaction are subject to a confidentiality agreement between Feronia Inc. and Unilever plc.

“The purchase by Feronia of this business from Unilever plc is consistent with TriNorth’s strategy of long-term global investing, with a special focus on agricultural land and commodities, to generate long-term capital growth for shareholders,” said Trinorth Director . “This is a unique asset that we expect will be the basis for the rapid expansion of Feronia throughout Sub- Saharan Africa.  Feronia has the potential to reproduce the agricultural revolution that has occurred in Brazil over the past 30 years.”

“We are very enthusiastic about the long-term potential of PHC and the implementation of large-scale mechanized farming in the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said James Siggs, CEO of Feronia Inc. “We look forward to working with PHC’s team, whose expertise is unparalleled in the agriculture industry in Africa.”

Located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, PHC has been in operation for almost 100 years and has virtually all required infrastructure for planting and production.  The region has consistent rainfall, and the land is among the highest quality in the world.  PHC has long-standing relationships with the local communities and government, and a stable and highly trained workforce of approximately 4,300.

The plantation produces primarily palm oil from its three properties.  Palm oil is a commodity with a rapidly growing demand throughout the world.  Of the approximately 100,000 hectare plantation, 70,000 hectares are suitable for planting palm oil.  Approximately 15,000 hectares are currently planted, and Feronia PHC expects to expand plantings consistently for many years to fully utilize the land available.

Capital expenditures made by Feronia will be primarily on new plantings.  Feronia will be acquiring PHC unencumbered by any debt.

Feronia is currently closing an equity issue to finance the acquisition and refurbishment and expansion of the plantation.  TriNorth is investing approximately $2 million in this private placement.  In addition, a number of international funds are participating in this financing as are funds managed by Lawrence Asset Management Inc.  After the completion of this financing, TriNorth will own approximately 40% of Feronia.

The development of Feronia is consistent with Trinorth’s objective of providing investors exposure to early-stage investments with a particular focus on attractive farmlands.  With its ownership in Feronia and Wild Horse Farms of Saskatchewan, Trinorth provides Canadian investors a unique exposure to two of the most attractive areas in global agriculture from a risk-reward perspective.

About Feronia:

Feronia Inc. is a large-scale commercial agriculture company engaged in identifying, acquiring and consolidating farm land and operations in Africa with the intention of bringing them back into production using modern agricultural techniques and practices.  Feronia’s management team is comprised of senior agriculturalists with extensive experience in managing both plantations and large- scale mechanized farming operations in frontier and emerging markets.  Feronia is strongly committed to sustainable agriculture, environmental protection and providing support for local communities. For more information please see,

www.feronia.com.

About TriNorth:

TriNorth is a Canadian-based investment company that invests in a diversified portfolio of companies to generate long-term capital growth for shareholders.  TriNorth takes an active interest in its investee companies from the earliest stages, providing strategic and financial counsel, support and direction to assist in their growth and success.  TriNorth's investment strategy includes structuring and initiating deals focused on particular resources, themes or regions as well as launching the development of businesses in select industries by providing assistance with the hiring of management teams, providing seed capital and facilitating IPOs.  All investment activities of TriNorth are managed by Lawrence Asset Management Inc, a leading Canadian alternative investment asset manager.  For more information please see, www.trinorthcapital.com.

Investor or Media Contact:

Catherine Stretch

TriNorth Capital Inc.

(416) 362-6283

catherine@lawrenceasset.com
Source: Press release



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