Los Angeles — Cadiz Inc. [NASDAQ:CDZI] (the “Company”) is pleased to announce today that Hannon Armstrong Securities, LLC (“Hannon Armstrong”), an investment bank specializing in the financing of essential infrastructure assets in the United States, including next generation water, energy and telecommunication projects, will lead the Company through the construction financing process for the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (the “Water Project”). The Water Project would provide a new, reliable water supply to Southern California residents by capturing and conserving groundwater currently being lost to evaporation from the aquifer system beneath the Company’s 34,000-acre property in California’s Mojave Desert.
For over three decades, Hannon Armstrong has been providing and arranging capital for companies and governmental entities seeking innovative, low-cost capital structures for new infrastructure assets. Hannon Armstrong has particular expertise in structuring and placing long term infrastructure project finance, including projects involving multiple governmental agencies. Last year Hannon Armstrong’s $400 million Hudson Ranch 1 geothermal power project located in Imperial County, CA received the Project Finance Deal of the Year award from EuroMoney magazine.
The Water Project facilities include an expanded wellfield on the Company’s property and a 43-mile underground water conveyance pipeline that would deliver conserved water to the Colorado River Aqueduct, one of Southern California’s primary water distribution facilities. Capital costs for construction of the Water Project facilities are estimated at approximately $225 million and Hannon Armstrong expects that these facilities can be privately financed with lower-cost senior debt supporting a lower cost of water.
“Given the Water Project’s sound fundamentals and Cadiz’s strong asset position, opportunities exist to develop a comprehensive finance solution that will fund the capital requirements on terms customary for public water purveyors,” said Jeffrey Eckel, President and CEO of Hannon Armstrong. “The finance solution will be an attractive investment opportunity for long-term investors, such as insurance companies and pension funds, seeking steady fixed-income returns.”
Over the last 3 years, the Company has invested more than $15 million in development activities critical to designing a Project that once permitted will avoid environmental harm. The Company has sufficient cash on hand to continue to fund development activities throughout the entitlement phase. The Project is currently undergoing an environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). A Draft Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) for the Water Project was issued in December 2011 by the Santa Margarita Water District, the Lead Agency for the CEQA review. A public comment period is open until March 14, 2012 and a Final EIR is expected to be issued once all comments have been considered and analyzed.
The Water Project is expected to provide numerous benefits for local communities throughout Southern California, including improvement of local water supply reliability, reduced demand for imported water from Northern California and certain economic improvements. According to a study published by Inland Empire economist Dr. John Husing in May 2011, the Water Project will support over 5,900 jobs, generate more than $878 million in economic activity in the Inland Empire, and infuse millions of dollars in tax revenue to local governments, including $5.4 million per year for San Bernardino County and approximately $613,000 per year for the Needles Unified School District.
About Hannon Armstrong
Hannon Armstrong Securities, LLC is a registered broker dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC that specializes in financing infrastructure assets by arranging capital for companies and governments that are solving the critical infrastructure issues of today. With a head office in Annapolis, MD and a branch office in California, Hannon Armstrong serves a national client base of primarily Fortune 100 companies. Hannon Armstrong has an experienced team of finance professionals committed to creating, funding and managing sound transactions that make a positive contribution to the nation’s economic and environmental health. For more information about Hannon Armstrong, visit www.hannonarmstrongsecurities.com<http://www.hannonarmstrongsecurities.com>.
Founded in 1983, Cadiz Inc. is a publicly-held renewable resources company that owns 70 square miles of property with significant water resources and clean energy potential in eastern San Bernardino County, California. The Company is engaged in a combination of water supply and storage, organic farming and solar energy projects, including the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project. In 2009 Cadiz adopted a wide-ranging “Green Compact” to implement environmental conservation and sustainable management practices at its properties. For more information about Cadiz, visit www.cadizinc.com
This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, including statements related to the future operating and financial performance of the Company and the financing activities of the Company. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those reflected in the Company’s forward-looking statements include the Company’s ability to maximize value for Cadiz land and water resources, the Company’s ability to obtain new financing as needed, and other factors and considerations detailed in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.