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D1 Oils Plc (NEOS)

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Monday 22 December, 2008

D1 Oils Plc

Announcement of Board Changes

RNS Number : 5910K
D1 Oils Plc
22 December 2008

D1 Oils plc

 December 2008

Announcement of Board Changes  

D1 Oils plc ('D1 Oils' or 'the Company') today announces changes to the Board of Directors. 

Board restructuring

Following the closure of its downstream refining and trading operations earlier in the year, the size and scope of D1 Oils' operations have been significantly reduced. The business now comprises a wholly-owned plant science business, D1 Oils Plant Science Limited ('DOPSL') and a 50 per cent stake in a joint venture with BP International Limited ('BP') for the planting and harvesting of Jatropha curcas, D1-BP Fuel Crops Limited ('D1-BP Fuel Crops' or 'the Joint Venture'). Total headcount has been reduced from 154 in January 2008 to 96 currently. The majority of the current staff are in DOPSL. Board changes are being implemented to reflect this change in the scope of the business.  

Clive Morton, Non-Executive Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director, and Chris Leaver, both Non-Executive Directors of D1 Oils, will step down from the Board today. Chris Leaver will continue to have an active involvement within the Company in his capacity as a scientific adviser to DOPSL.

Elliott Mannis will step down today as Chief Executive Officer of D1 OilsBen Good, Finance and Commercial Director will, in addition to his current responsibilities, take on the role of Chief Executive Officer. Given the Company's scope of activities and the executive leadership within D1-BP Fuel Crops, the Board has decided there is no requirement to appoint a separate Finance Director. 

Principle Capital Group has been a significant investor in D1 Oils since December 2006, and currently owns 27.55 per cent of the Company. Brian Myerson, Chairman of Principle Capital Group and a Non-Executive Director of D1 Oils since July 2008, has agreed to become Chairman of D1 Oils to assist in the next stage of its development. Brian has significant board level experience in delivering value for shareholders through his investments. Accordingly, Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool steps down today as Non-Executive Chairman of D1 Oils

Both Barclay Forrest and Moira Black continue in their capacity as Non-Executive Directors of D1 Oils.

Commenting on the announcement Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool said: 

'D1 Oils' strategy of developing sustainable, alternative feedstocks for biodiesel from non-food crops remains one of the most innovative approaches to the challenges of transport fuel supply in the future. The Company is now established as a pioneer in Jatropha curcas, one of the most promising of these new crops, and is well positioned to take advantage of the long term trends in energy markets. I wish Brian Myerson every success as he takes over the Chairmanship.'

Commenting on the announcement Elliott Mannis said: 

'We are proud of what we have achieved in developing and reshaping D1 Oils' business. The Company is now refocused on upstream plant science and planting. The team is very capable and I wish the Company well. I am looking forward to taking up fresh challenges'. 

Commenting on the announcement Brian Myerson said: 

'Jatropha is a very promising new energy crop. D1 Oils is a leader in its plant science and is creating a global business for the production of non-food vegetable oil for biodiesel. We look forward to taking the business to the next stage of development, and aim to deliver value for by realising the potential of jatropha. 

Lord Oxburgh and Elliott Mannis have overseen a period of considerable development and have made significant contributions to refocusing the business upstream. We also thank Clive Morton and Christopher Leaver for all they have contributed to the Board.'


D1 Oils plc

Graham Prince,     

020 7367 5600

Director, Corporate Communications   




Camilla Gore/Kevin Byram   

020 7404 5959

Notes to Editors:

D1 Oils plc is a biofuels technology company. Our strategy is to develop new energy crops into sustainable commercial fuels. We provide technology and services for the breeding, development, planting and harvesting of new varieties of commercial biofuel crops, focusing on alternative, sustainable feedstocks that are not subject to the same price pressures as food-grade crops. We have an established plant science and planting programme for Jatropha curcas, a robust, tropical oilseed bearing tree. Jatropha produces inedible oil feedstock for biodiesel and is able to make use of land not suitable for arable agriculture. D1 has a 50:50 joint venture with BP for the global planting of jatropha. 

Brian Alan Myerson is a Director of Principle Capital Investment Trust Plc ('PCIT') and a Director of Principle Capital Fund Managers Limited, the 100% owner of Principle Capital General Partner Limited, which is the General Partner of Principle Capital, L.P. ('PCLP'). PCIT owns 24,647,119 ordinary shares and PCLP owns 10,241,970 ordinary shares in D1 Oils, together these shareholdings represent 27.55 per cent of the issued share capital of D1 Oils. Brian Myerson has no legal or beneficial interest in these shares, direct or indirect. 

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange