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Maple Energy seeks private equity investment

The Peru-based energy company is looking for private capital to shore up its bio-fuel business.

Maple Energy, an energy company based in Peru, is still looking for private equity funding for its ethanol fuel business, according to a press release.

The firm, which is listed in London and Lima, is seeking additional funding to provide working capital for its ethanol fuel arm, which is not part of the listed entity.

The ethanol business reported lower-than-expected production during the first quarter of the year, a continuance from poor production at the end of 2013, and also a result of the ethanol plant’s closure for maintenance between February and April, according to the 10 June company update.

Maple successfully raised $15 million from an undisclosed lender in April — a short term financing facility — but is now looking for more equity investment.

“As previously reported, the Company has been actively seeking equity investment from strategic investor(s) for its ethanol business,” reads the June release. “The Company has been progressing in this initiative and is seeking to close a transaction in the coming months.”

“The ability of the Company to execute a transaction on a timely basis is critical for the working capital position of its ethanol business.”

In the company’s annual report released in April it expressed hopes that it would have concluded phase one of a three phase process in May “resulting in the receipt of non-binding offers from potential investors and the selection of the best offers by the company”, reads the report.

Maple and its financial advisor, Cenkos Securities, were unavailable for comment on whether this phase had been reached.

The firm is also using Itau BBA, one of the largest financial institutions in Latin America, and Interbank, a leading Peruvian bank, to assist in finding potential equity partners.

The company is assessing other financing options should the equity fundraising round fail.

“There can be no guarantees that a transaction with a strategic or financial investor can be reached on terms acceptable to the Company, or at all,” reads the June update.

“In the meantime the Company is working closely with the Senior Lenders of Maple’s ethanol business in order to secure sufficient working capital until new funding is available to develop the business.”

Maple And Cenkos did not respond to calls or emails.