GLG Life Tech Corporation ("GLG" or the "Company"), the vertically integrated leader in the agricultural and industrial development of high quality stevia extracts is pleased to announce that the Company has arranged an additional credit facility of RMB 250 million with the Agricultural Bank of China. At current exchange rates, these credit lines will provide GLG approximately CAD $42 million in capital. The term of this credit facility varies from one to three years for amounts drawn down and is open for use by all GLG Chinese subsidiaries as needed. Interest rates are to be set on each draw down of the facility based on the prevailing market rates.
The Company intends to use the funds for the following:
New 1,000 Metric Ton Rebiana (RA97) Refining Facility: The Company has begun construction on phase one of a new refining facility in Qingdao, China which will produce high grade stevia extract to purity levels of 97%+ Rebaudioside A. Phase one is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.
Purchase of High Quality Stevia Leaf: This funding will enable the Company to purchase additional stevia leaf from the Company's eight major growing areas in China for customers outside of its strategic partner. GLG has exclusive agreements for the growth and processing of stevia in three of these growing areas including regions within the Anhui, Jiangsu and Shandong provinces.
GLG Chairman and CEO Dr. Luke Zhang stated, "This new credit facility provides additional financial support for GLG to implement its business plan and underscores the government's support for our operations and business development, particularly as we add additional capacity to supply the global marketplace with rebiana and high purity stevia extracts. Further, GLG is supporting local farmers in the growth and harvest of a high quality stevia crop and bringing value to key developing areas in China."
About GLG Life Tech Corporation
GLG Life Tech Corporation is a global leader in the supply of high purity stevia, an all natural, zero-calorie sweetener used in food and beverages. The Company's operations cover each step in the stevia supply chain including non-GMO stevia seed breeding, natural propagation, stevia leaf growth and harvest, proprietary extraction and refining, marketing and distribution of finished product. GLG advanced technology and extraction technique make it one of the world's leading producers of high purity stevia extracts, including rebiana made with 97% Rebaudioside A. Rebiana recently received GRAS status in the United States for use in food and beverages. The Company has operations in Canada as well as agricultural and processing facilities in China in the provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu, Shandong and Heilongjiang. China is responsible for an estimated 85% of the world's current stevia production. GLG stevia processing capabilities include 41,000 metric tons of raw stevia leaf and 1,000 metric tons of high grade stevia extract. The Company holds a strategic partnership and preferred supplier agreement with Cargill, Incorporated to supply 80% of its global stevia extract demand and 100% of any stevia sourced from China. In addition, the Company's global sales and marketing arm, GLG-Weider Sweet Naturals works with over 400 companies around the world to bring stevia extract supply solutions for food, beverage, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications.
For further information, please visit www.glglifetech.com.
Forward-looking statements: Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements". Forward-looking statements involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations include operational risks, the effects of general economic conditions, changing foreign exchange rates and actions by government authorities, uncertainties associated with legal proceedings and negotiations, industry supply levels, competitive pricing pressures and other risks and uncertainties disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in our Annual Information Form in respect of our year-ended December 31, 2008 and the risk factors in our Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") for the year ended December 31, 2008, both of which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The Company's forward-looking statements reflect the beliefs, opinions and projections on the date the statements are made. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change, except as required by law.