30 June 2000

Farmers First shares

FARMERS First, the umbrella company created to raise cash for producer-owned livestock exporter Farmers Ferry and sister company Farmers Fresh, specialising in the on-the-hook trade, has launched a £4.4m share offer.

Copies of the prospectus and the application form for shares, priced at 125p, will be available on Monday at the Royal Show, Stoneleigh, Warks, from the farmers weekly pavilion and the Farmers First stand in the sheep area.

Original Farmers Ferry donors have already received a prospectus and the offer of an early application discount of 25% per ordinary share. The early application offer closes on July 16 and the minimum application will be £250.

Shareholders who invest a minimum of £500 may be eligible to claim back the tax paid on the investment at a maxmimum of 20% under the Enterprise Investment Scheme. Application for all shares closes on Aug 6.

Group marketing director, Mark Gooding, said the offer signified a significant boost to the groups efforts to serve and secure new markets.

The cash will be used to bring the Farmers Fresh abattoir near Kenilworth, Warks, back into production, said Mr Gooding. "We will also explore new ways of moving animals to Europe either on the hook or on the hoof," he added.

Mr Gooding discounted institutional interest in the offer explaining that the Farmers First Group offered "primarily routes to markets, not routes to repayment." &#42

FARMERSFERRY KEYDATES

&#8226 July 1998 Farmers Ferry established.

&#8226 August 1998 FF acquires the Brindie company which charters the roll-on roll-off ferry Cap Afrique.

&#8226 Year ended May 2000 FF exports more than 1.1m sheep.

&#8226 February 2000 FF launches Farmers Fresh to capture on-the-hook trade.

&#8226 April 2000 Farmers Fresh acquires lease of midlands abattoir.

&#8226 July 2000 Farmers First launched as umbrella company.