Fortress Global Enterprises Reports Fourth Quarter 2018 Results

Fortress Global Enterprises Inc. (“Fortress Global Enterprises” or the “Company”) (TSX:FGE) (OTCQX:FTPLF) reported 2018 fourth quarter operating EBITDA from continuing operations of $4.2 million compared to operating EBITDA from continuing operations of $7.5 million in the previous quarter and operating EBITDA loss from continuing operations of $5.7 million in the prior year comparative period. The Dissolving Pulp Segment generated operating EBITDA of $6.1 million. The Company invested $0.8 million in the Bioproducts Segment and corporate costs were $1.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Giovanni Iadeluca, Chief Executive Officer of Fortress Global Enterprises, commented: “Fortress Global Enterprises achieved significant improvements in fiscal 2018 when compared to the previous year. Operating EBITDA from continuing operations increased by $12.7 million and total improvement, excluding the Bioproducts segment, was $14.4 million. Progress was made in productivity, reliability, and quality all while managing a baseline capital expenditure program, leading to our second highest EBITDA total for a fourth quarter. Our people were the key drivers of performance gains, a direct result of the formal leadership program initiated in 2018 to drive operational improvements. Further progress is anticipated in 2019.”

Significant developments in 2018 included:
• The Company transitioned the CEO position and changed name from Fortress Paper Ltd. to Fortress Global Enterprises Inc. in order to better reflect its existing business and future prospects;
• The Company created a new reporting segment (the “Bioproducts Segment”) as a result of the acquisition and integration of S2G Biochemicals Inc. (“S2G”). Subsequent to the acquisition of S2G:
o The Company obtained commitments in principle from the federal and Quebec governments for up to $17.4 million in funding for the xylitol and complementary bioproducts demonstration plant planned to be constructed at Fortress’s dissolving pulp mill in Thurso, Quebec (the “FSC mill”). Up to an additional $10 million in federal government funding was announced in early 2019; and
o The Company entered into a Technology License and Collaboration Agreement with Mondelēz International, Inc. (“Mondelēz”), one of the world’s largest snacking companies. Mondelēz has agreed to grant an exclusive worldwide license to a subsidiary of the Company to use its sugar based xylitol manufacturing technology that was jointly developed by Mondelēz and S2G;
• Holders of the Company’s 7.0% convertible unsecured debentures due December 31, 2019 approved certain amendments to the debentures including, among other things, an extended maturity date to December 31, 2021 and a revised interest rate of 9.75%; and
• The 5th Digester project was completed on time and on budget, and operational permits were received.

Looking mid to long term, with support from our partners, we are finalizing plans to modernize the FSC mill, diversify revenue streams by converting underutilized mill process streams into high value bioproducts, such as xylitol, and more permanently improve the balance sheet. The bioproducts demonstration plant project is a key component of our biorefinery vision. We will provide details of these important plans in the coming months.
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