L. L. KNICKERBOCKER AND ARKENOL IN JOINT VENTURE
THE JOINT VENTURE TO LICENSE ARKENOL'S TECHNOLOGY TO PRODUCE ETHANOL AND OTHER CHEMICALS FOR ASIA MARKETS
Lake Forest, CA -- August 27, 1997-- The IL. L. Knickerbocker Co., Inc. (NASDAQ:KNIC)("LLK") and Arkenol Holdings, LLC ("Arkenol") today announced they have formed a Joint Venture ("JV") to utilize Arkenol's technology in connection with the manufacture and sale of chemicals, biomass solids and liquid fuels in certain Asian countries.
Arkenol is the exclusive licensee of certain technology relating to the conversion of cellulosic plant matter waste into chemicals, clean burning biomass solids used to power electrical generation plants, and clean burning transportation fliels. Arkenol's affiliate company, ARK Energy, Inc., is an international power developer.
The JV, known as Arkenol ASIA, owned 50% by LLK and 50% by Arkenol, will acquire from Arkenol an exclusive license to exploit Arkenol's technology and related intellectual property to produce ethanol and other chemicals for sale and consumption in Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Vietnam, Laos and India. In addition, the JV will acquire a non- exclusive license to the technology for China and Japan.
Asia, considered a "non-liquid" territory, imports 95% of its oil from other countries. Ethanol, which has been used for many years and has a current world wide market potential of $50 billion and growing, is a driving component in the supply of energy. Currently, the cost of ethanol is approximately $1.30 a gallon. Arkenol's proven technology will produce ethanol at one-half the current market price.
Arkenol will serve as the "Managing Venturer" in the JV and will have the primary responsibility for all developmental activities and services to the JV and the projects, all product development activities, the selection and management of the engineering, procurement and construction provider and the operation of the project facilities. LLK will have the primary responsibility for securing all credit support instruments and other financing on behalf of the projects and the JV and all product marketing activities. The day- to-day business of the JV will be conducted by agents and contractors engaged by the Managing Venturer.
In a statement from Arnold R. Klann, President of Arkenol, he said "We are pleased to have this opportunity to support some of the world's leading agricultural nations in their efforts to displace imported petroleum with locally produced clean burning fuels using our biorefinery technology." He added "The outlook for energy use throughout the world continues to show strong prospects for rising levels of consumption over the next two decades, led by growing demand for end-use energy in Asia. The biomass technology holds much potential, particularly for Asia's agriculture-based economies, where its integration improves balance of trade payments and strengthens country currencies. The World Bank expects Asian countries to spend $600 billion over the coming decade to meet their energy needs. A 1990 study by the Department of Energy concluded that biofuels and renewables, such as solar and wind, could make up 30% to 50% of the world's primary-energy supply over the next 50 years."
Arkenol has developed a technology for the conversion of plant materials into a wide variety of chemicals. Beginning in 1992, Arkenol discovered modern techniques to use well-known chemical processes to economically produce these sugar chemicals. Arkenol has received four patents on various aspects of this process, has three patents pending, and continues an aggressive research and development program at its pilot plant and laboratories in Orange, California. Arkenol has completed the permitting process to build a 12 million gallons per year facility in California. Arkenol also has, in place, contractual arrangements with numerous industrial and agricultural groups within Southeast Asia. Visit Arkenol's web site at www.arkenol.com.
Louis L. Knickerbocker, Chairman & CEO of The L. L. Knickerbocker Company, said "This is a very exciting venture for the Company. Asia is the fastest growing economy in the world. LLK's presence In Asia, with over 350 employees, is significant. The National Committee on Asian Relations in reciting a Business Week report said that, in Thailand, $11 billion would go into 3,800 megawafts of electricity projects, and that $50 billion will be spent (in South Korea alone) on thirty new power plants, including seven nuclear plants, by the year 2000." In conclusion he said "Arkenol's proven industrial capabilities and LLK's proven marketing skills are expected to result in an outstanding synergy for a successful joint venture."
The L.L. Knickerbocker Co., Inc. markets a wide variety of branded collectibles, jewelry and accessories and consumer products. The Company's primary focus is to create and build Brands which can be marketed through a variety of channels, including national and international retail and direct response mail. The Company has a 38.3% equity investment interest in Pure Energy Corporation, the exclusive worldwide licensee to an alternative fuel. Recently, the U. S. Patent Office issued a Notice of Allowance for claims covering the alternative fuel which is patent pending. In addition, the Company has a substanial equity interest (approximately 31%) in Ontro, Inc. and Insta-Heat, Inc., involved in the development of containers which self-heat food and beverages. Visit The L L Knickerbocker Company web site at www.knickerbocker.com.
Louis L. Knickerbocker - (949) 595-7900
Arnold R. Klann - (949) 588-3767
Fran Daniels - (310) 278-4413
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors affecting th Company's operations, markets, products. services and prices. and other factors. The Company's actual results could differ rnateriallv from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of the factors described herein.