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Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability News: Zoltek Cos. Will be Included in Pro-Environment Energy Fund



From: Mary Jo Feldstein, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Published February 1, 2005 12:00 AM

Zoltek Cos. Will be Included in Pro-Environment Energy Fund

Feb. 1—Zoltek Cos. will be featured in an exchange-traded fund of environmentally friendly energy companies. The fund is scheduled to begin trading on the American Stock Exchange on Feb. 4.





Zoltek's Chief Financial Officer, Kevin Schott, said the fund promotes the use of carbon fibers, gives the company more exposure and should increase the stock's liquidity.





"It's a very exciting opportunity for us," Schott said.





Zoltek, of Bridgeton, makes carbon fibers. In December, Zoltek said it had reached a long-term supply agreement with Vestas Wind Systems AS of Denmark, a world leader in the making of wind turbines and the rotor blades that power them.





Zoltek expects to provide Vestas with $80 million to $100 million worth of carbon fiber and carbon fiber materials over the first three years of the agreement.





Zoltek has struggled to find a home for its carbon fibers in recent years. Zoltek reported higher sales in 2004, but has not made a profit in more than five years.





The company sees the supply of carbon fibers for the growing wind energy industry as one of its most promising opportunities for growth.





The exchange-traded fund will track an index of 37 companies that use more environmentally friendly energy alternatives, such as wind and solar power. The WilderHill Clean Energy Index is a benchmark calculated by the Amex. It launched in August.





The fund will be managed by PowerShares Capital Management, a privately held company based in Wheaton, Ill.





Exchange-traded funds are similar to index funds because they generally invest in stocks that are included in a market index. But they trade like shares of individual stocks and are not actively managed.





To see more of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.stltoday.com.


© 2005, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.


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