DNP Green Technology and Agro-industrie Recherches et Developpements (ARD) announced today the restructuring of their Bioamber joint venture.
Under the terms of the deal, DNP Green Technology acquired 100% of the shares in Bioamber, and ARD became a shareholder in DNP Green Technology. The demonstration plant operating in Pomacle France is owned and operated by ARD, with Bioamber securing exclusive access to the plant for the next three years through a toll manufacturing agreement.
Bioamber was established as a 50/50 joint venture between DNP Green and ARD in 2008 to scale up and commercialize a biobased succinic acid technology platform. In 2010, Bioamber successfully commissioned the world’s first and only bio based succinic acid plant in Pomacle, France, at a cost of 21 million Euros. Bioamber is the first to market biobased succinic acid and the only technology proven at a large scale. As Bioamber moves into its commercial phase, the partners have decided to entrust commercialization to DNP Green and have ARD focus on process optimization in the plant and the scale up of a next-generation organism producing succinic acid.
“This was the right moment to restructure our JV. Our collaboration has evolved into a business demanding rapid commercialization of biobased succinic acid, in order to take full advantage of our position as first to market. Both partners felt that this could best be achieved through DNP Green.” said Jean-Francois Huc, CEO of DNP Green. “DNP Green will also benefit from having Siclaé as a strategic shareholder. Siclaé is the principal shareholder in ARD and the industrial arm of a group of leading European agricultural cooperatives. They provide us with access to European feedstocks.” Huc added.
“We view an equity stake in DNP Green as an opportunity to participate in the deployment and ownership of plants around the world, which will improve our financial return. DNP Green’s business model, which involves licensing alongside direct equity stakes in plants, will generate better profitability than the straight licensing model we had envisaged for the JV.” said Dominique Dutartre, Managing Director of Siclaé. “ARD will also benefit from the recognition of having led the successful scale up of the biobased succinic acid technology, which will in turn help us to leverage our know-how and infrastructure and forge new technology development partnerships” added Yvon Le Hénaff, General Manager of ARD.
Concurrent with the acquisition of ARD’s shares in the JV, DNP Green Technology has changed its name to BioAmber Inc. “BioAmber is synonymous with the first biobased succinic acid to reach the market and we do not want to lose this brand equity” said Mike Hartmann, VP Corporate Affairs of DNP Green. “By adopting the BioAmber name for our company, we ensure that our past commercial efforts and strategic partnerships have continuity, and we reinforce the continued collaboration between our company and ARD” Hartmann added.
BioAmber (formerly DNP Green Technology) is a private US company that produces renewable chemicals. Through numerous scientific and business partnerships, BioAmber has built an extensive IP portfolio and know-how covering the production, purification and uses of biobased succinic acid and derivatives including modified PBS, a biodegradable polymer. BioAmber is actively developing other bio-based chemical platforms, leveraging industrial biotechnology and chemical synthesis to produce renewable chemicals and bio-based materials. BioAmber’s principal shareholders are Sofinnova Partners (France) and Mitsui & Co Venture Partners (US). The company has offices in Minneapolis, MN, Shanghai, China, Pomacle, France, and Montreal, Canada. For more information, visit http://www.bio-amber.com.
ARD (Agro-Industrie Recherches et Développements) is the R&D centre of a large agro-industrial consortium based in Champagne-Ardenne, France. Member of the global-scale competitiveness cluster IAR (Industries and Agro-Resources), ARD adds value to and finds new outlets for agricultural crops. It develops innovative and competitive bio-based molecules produced in bio-refineries. Along with its affiliate SOLIANCE, specialized in the production and commercialization of cosmetics active ingredients, ARD has 25 years of experience in biomass fractionation, bio-based chemistry, and industrial biotechnology. ARD and its affiliates employ over 150 people.
In the 2008/2009 accounting year, Siclaé recorded a turnover of €1.5 Billion, an operating profit of €69.4 million, a net profit of €21.1 million, and a cash-flow of €55 million. Siclaé is a group of agro-industrial companies, each focused on a specific industry, most of which are leaders in their field. Its main subsidiaries are Malteurop, the world number-one malt producer; NutriXo, one of the biggest players in the European milling industry; Chamtor, one of France’s top starch-glucose processing specialists; Champagne Maïs, one of the biggest corn processors in Europe; Nestal, a leading animal nutrition group in Eastern France; and ARD, a leader in agro-industrial research in France and the rest of Europe.
Siclaé also owns shares in Ineos Champlor and LMT Oléagineux, two recently- created companies that specialize in bio-energy. Siclaé originated from the desire of five cooperatives from the North-East of France – Champagne Céréales, Nouricia, EMC2, Société Coopérative Agricole de la Champagne and Société Coopérative Agricole de Sézanne – to bring together their interests in the field of bio-based processing under one structure, and to thus create and develop an international agro-industrial group, with regional roots, focused on large-scale farming crops.
Source: BioAmber, press release, 2010-11-16.