– CYPRUS, Limassol – DekelOil Public Limited (AIM:DKL), operator and 100% owner of the vertically integrated Ayenouan palm oil project in Côte d’Ivoire, is pleased to announce the appointment of Bernard Francois as Non-Executive Director of the Company with immediate effect. Mr Francois, who is a former CEO of PALMCI S.A, the largest palm oil company in Côte d’Ivoire, replaces Ms Orli Arav, who is stepping down from the Board to focus on her other business interests.

Over the course of a career spanning 33 years, Mr Francois has held a number of senior executive roles in agricultural businesses across Africa, Asia, and South America with several different commodities including palm oil, rubber, coffee, and cocoa. Between 2010 and 2015, he was CEO of the largest palm oil company in Côte d’Ivoire, PALMCI S.A, which is part of the publicly listed SIFCA Group. As CEO, Mr Francois oversaw the management of approximately 40,000 ha. of industrial plantations, a further 130,000 ha. of smallholder plantations, as well as the production of 300,000 tons of Crude Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil per year from 10 palm oil mills and two palm kernel mills.

More recently, Mr Francois headed the Côte d’Ivoire operations of Halcyon Agri Corporation, a leading Singaporean natural rubber company where he was responsible for developing and implementing a strategic plan focused on increasing the volume of natural rubber purchased, processed and sold. Prior roles include acting as a consultant to the Siat Group (Belgium), specifically covering its natural rubber operations (Plantations & Processing) in Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon and Cambodia. Between 1991 and 2010, Mr Francois held a number of managerial positions with the Michelin Group, including Quality Director for worldwide purchases of natural rubber and General Manager of Michelin Plantation of Bahia/Brazil.

DekelOil Executive Director Lincoln Moore said, “To have secured the services of a former CEO of Côte d’Ivoire’s largest palm oil company is testament, in our view, to how far DekelOil has come in just five years on AIM. Bernard’s extensive experience in the palm oil industry and wider agricultural sector in both Côte d’Ivoire and across the region will be invaluable, as we continue to optimise operations at Ayenouan, and at the same time look to deploy our proven model on other high value agricultural projects, including our 100% owned Guitry palm oil project in Côte d’Ivoire.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Orli for her contribution to the development of DekelOil over the years and myself and the Board wish her well with her future endeavours.”

DekelOil Public Limited is a low cost producer of palm oil in West Africa, which it is focused on rapidly expanding. Feedstock for the Mill comes from several co-operatives and thousands of smallholders, however it also has nearly 1,900 hectares of its own plantations. Furthermore, it has a world-class nursery with a one million seedlings per year capacity.

For more information : http://www.dekeloil.com

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