MOREHEAD, Ky., Aug. 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AppHarvest, Inc. (NASDAQ: APPH, APPHW), a sustainable food company, public benefit corporation and Certified B Corp building some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms to grow affordable, nutritious fruits and vegetables at scale while providing good jobs in Appalachia, announced today that it secured $50 million across two loans guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through Greater Commercial Lending (GCL), a subsidiary of Greater Nevada Credit Union. The financing supports AppHarvest’s high-tech indoor berry farm in Somerset, Kentucky, which is about 84% complete and expected to be operational by year-end.
“Securing non-dilutive sources of capital to fund our growth has been a top priority since going public early last year, and I’m pleased with our team’s ability to source lower-cost funding in a higher-cost lending environment,” said AppHarvest President David Lee. “This funding agreement with the USDA allows us to continue to scale operations as we plan to bring the Somerset farm and two additional CEA (controlled environment agriculture) facilities online before the end of the year, which would quadruple our farm network and diversify our product portfolio to include berries and salad greens.”
The USDA guarantees 80% of the GCL-arranged financing for the Somerset berry facility through its USDA Rural Development Business and Industry Initiative and the USDA Rural Development program. Each loan has a 23-year term with a rate that resets every five years based on the Federal Home Loan Bank five-year advance rate plus 340 basis points and is interest-only for the first three years.
The financing closed on July 29. Some of the funds will be used by the company to satisfy an existing $46 million loan with J.P. Morgan that was used in part to fund the initial construction phase of AppHarvest’s Somerset farm.
AppHarvest is a sustainable food company in Appalachia developing and operating some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms with robotics and artificial intelligence to build a reliable, climate-resilient food system. AppHarvest’s farms are designed to grow produce using sunshine, rainwater and up to 90% less water than open-field growing, all while producing yields up to 30 times that of traditional agriculture and preventing pollution from agricultural runoff. AppHarvest currently operates its flagship farm – about the size of 50 football fields – in Morehead, Ky., producing tomatoes. The company is developing a network of farms to produce a variety of vine crops, salad greens and berries with three more farms currently under construction that are expected to be operational by the end of 2022. For more information, visit https://www.appharvest.com/.
About Greater Commercial Lending
Greater Commercial Lending (GCL) is a credit organization that brings together credit unions and community lenders from around the U.S. to provide government-guaranteed loans to businesses and initiatives in rural and under-served markets throughout the U.S. and its territories. It helps finance key infrastructure services, like power, renewable energy, transportation and fiber optic, as well as schools, hospitals, restaurants, agriculture, hotels and manufacturers. GCL partners with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which guarantee loans, to arrange credit at favorable terms. GCL is a subsidiary of Greater Nevada Credit Union (GNCU). www.GreaterLending.com
About Greater Nevada Credit Union
Greater Nevada Credit Union (GNCU) is headquartered in Carson City, Nevada and has been helping Nevadans with their financial needs since 1949. The credit union serves more than 80,000 consumers and small businesses and has over $1.5 billion in assets. GNCU’s subsidiaries include Greater Commercial Lending, Greater Nevada Mortgage, and Greater Nevada Insurance. GNCU has been consistently recognized as a Best Financial Institution in many of its service areas, as a top employer by the Reno/Tahoe Best Places to Work Awards and is the USDA Lender of the Year. GNCU is also the title sponsor of Greater Nevada Field in Reno. For more information, call (800) 421-6674 or visit www.gncu.org.