The Aka–Ag subsidiary of Southern Ute Growth Fund inks deal becoming an equity partner in Panda Biotech’s Panda High Plains Hemp Gin
DALLAS, TX – April 4, 2023 – Panda Biotech announces a landmark equity partnership deal between the Panda High Plains Hemp Gin™ (PHPHG) project and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe Growth Fund (Growth Fund). The Growth Fund is owned by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, a federally recognized tribe. The strategic alliance was inked with Aka-Ag, LLC, a Growth Fund subsidiary.
The investment marks a significant advancement toward PHPHG’s much-anticipated Q4 2023 launch. Located in Wichita Falls, Texas, PHPHG is on track to become the largest hemp decortication center in the United States and among the world’s largest industrial hemp processing facilities.
President Dixie Carter says of the deal, “Panda Biotech could not have selected a better equity partner for our first project, the Panda High Plains Hemp Gin. The Southern Ute Indian Tribe and its subsidiaries bring numerous strategic opportunities to what is anticipated to be a successful, long-term partnership.”
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe is the first Indian tribe in the nation to achieve a ‘AAA’ credit rating, earned through years of steady governance and successful and prudent business transactions. The Growth Fund, the business division of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, aims to support eco-minded business investment opportunities through Aka. As hemp provides a proven, more sustainable ecological option than other textile fibers, the Growth Fund’s Aka-Ag division shares Panda Biotech’s vision for PHPHG and the revolutionary potential of natural hemp fiber.
Growth Fund Executive Director Shane Seibel added, “the Growth Fund is honored to partner with Panda Biotech on the PHPHG Project. The Tribe and Panda have had decades of success in various business endeavors. We view the PHPHG investment as a complementary and strategic partnership that will align with our company values and result in a business providing sustainable solutions for the future.”
Scientifically proven to sequester substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, industrial hemp requires significantly less water, herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides to grow than most crops used in textile manufacturing. The textile industry has taken notice of PHPHG’s charge with industry leaders, including numerous global brands and top spinning mills around the world, reaching out regarding potential partnerships with Panda.
To date, approximately 95 percent of the necessary hemp processing equipment has been manufactured, most of which has been delivered to the 500,000-square-foot facility in Wichita Falls. PHPHG is expected to be operational in the 4th quarter of this year.
The PHPHG facility will process only U.S.-grown hemp straw. Panda is contracting with producers for the 2023 growing season and has seed available for farmers. The available seed genetic is proven to grow successfully in the region around Wichita Falls.
ABOUT SOUTHERN UTE GROWTH FUND
Based in Colorado on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation, the Southern Ute Growth Fund maintains the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s thriving and diverse business portfolio. The Growth Fund exists to grow economic prosperity for the Tribe and its members by responsibly conducting the Tribe’s businesses and developing new growth opportunities prudently. The Southern Ute Growth Fund comprises the Red Willow Production Company, Red Cedar Gathering Company, GF Properties Group, GF Ventures, GF Private Equity, Aka Energy Group, and Aka-Ag. The Southern Ute Tribe was awarded a ‘AAA’ general-obligation bond rating, the first Native American Tribe to earn the rating.