STUART, Fla., July 31, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ecosphere Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB:ESPH), a water engineering, technology licensing and innovative U.S. manufacturing company, today announced that Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (NYSE:FNF), a Fortune 500 company, exercised its option to purchase an additional 8% ownership of Ecosphere Energy Services, LLC (EES), from Ecosphere Technologies Inc. for $4 million, bringing its total ownership in EES to 39%. After the transaction, Ecosphere Technologies now owns 31% of the energy services division. FNF requested and received an additional option to buy another 12% of EES for $6 million before the end of 2013.
John Kuelbs, Chairman of Ecosphere Energy Services, stated, "Fidelity National Financial, with its increased ownership position and continued support of EES, has been very helpful as we continue our geographic expansion and growth in serving the water treatment needs of the oil and natural gas industry. With our patented Ozonix® technology, satisfied long-term customers, and FNF as our largest shareholder, we now have the depth and resources to meet the challenges and rewards of the oil and gas market."
Dennis McGuire, Chairman and CEO of Ecosphere Technologies added, "This transaction marks FNF's third investment in Ecosphere Energy Services since 2009 and demonstrates its support of EES and commitment to expanding the use of our proven Ozonix® technology, which has been used to treat and recycle over 3 billion gallons of water on more than 750 oil and natural gas wells around the United States.""FNF looks to invest in companies with proven marketplace advantages and Ecosphere Energy Services certainly has those qualities," stated William P. Foley, II, Chairman of FNF. Foley continued, "EES, with its patented Ozonix® technology and a quality workforce, is the leading non-chemical water treatment company in the hydraulic fracturing market. We wanted to increase our role in growing the company to help it reach its full potential in this industry. FNF expects to see increasing demand for Ecosphere's patented Ozonix® water treatment technology in the oil and natural gas industry in the coming years and we look forward to playing a bigger role."