Royal DSM, the Dutch life and materials science giant based in Heerlen, the Netherlands, announced on December 29 that the purchase of the Amyris Brasil Ltda production plant has now been completed.
The deal is the culmination of a strategic alliance between DSM and Amyris, an industrial bioscience company headquartered in Emeryville, California, which started in May 2017 with an equity investment by DSM in Amyris, and since been expanded with several significant product development collaborations, and includes the establishment of a long-term manufacturing partnership for Amyris’s high-volume products.
The Brotas 1 facility was designed to produce high volumes of farnesene, a key, biobased intermediate for many applications. Its acquisition will add a “state-of-the-art” biotechnology-based production site in Brazil to DSM’s network, giving the company access to an abundant supply of sustainable raw materials from sugar cane. “Our know-how in fermentation, downstream process development and large-scale manufacturing will allow us to further improve the operational performance of the facility while further strengthening our strategic alliance with Amyris,” said Chris Goppelsroeder, President & CEO of DSM Nutritional Products.
The consideration for Amyris Brasil Ltda, the entity that owns and operates the Brotas 1 production facility, and intellectual property related to farnesene, is US$ 58 million plus an additional value share arrangement over a three-year period amounting to US$ 37.5 million (aggregate upfront consideration of US$ 96 million). In addition to the consideration upfront, there is potential for a future value share in line with Amyris’ business model.
The transaction yields the funds needed by Amyris to accelerate construction of its Brotas 2 manufacturing facility in Campinas, Brazil, which, unlike the single-molecule facility at Brotas 1, is dedicated to “an expanding number of high-value, specialty ingredients”, in the words of John Melo, Amyris President & CEO – enabling Amyris to focus on its core strength of developing breakthrough bioscience technologies.
DSM will continue existing supply-agreements to Amyris and other parties. DSM will also supply Amyris with specialty compounds until it realizes its Brotas 2 specialties production facility. Amyris is accelerating the construction of its second facility dedicated to specialty products while maintaining the manufacturing process development and business support capability located in Campinas, Brazil.
The deal heralds a new era for Amyris, said Melo. “This transaction completes a planned shift from operating a plant originally designed to produce high volumes of farnesene, to producing an expanding number of high-value, specialty ingredients. This shift will allow Amyris to improve returns and cash flows in order to continue to provide sustainable growth for Amyris and its partners.”