8 Juli 2014

METabolic EXplorer and SK CHEMICALS Co. Ltd., Signature of an exclusive agreement to manufacture and sell PDO

METEX to support SK Chemicals in successful commercialization of the PDO business and to benefit from expanding global demand

METabolic EXplorer and SK CHEMICALS jointly announce that they have signed a worldwide Exclusive License Agreement to manufacture and market bio-PDO (1,3-propanediol) based on METabolic Explorer’s proprietary technology. This technology produces PDO through the optimized fermentation of crude glycerin, a renewable feedstock. PDO is a diol chemical building block, used in various applications including cosmetic, personal care, coatings as well as to produce polymers such as PTT (poly trimethylen terephthalate) and polyurethanes.

Through this exclusive license, METEX will support SK Chemicals to successfully commercialize the PDO business and to benefit from expanding global demand for PDO. SK Chemicals, a leading South Korean company, has rapidly become one of the major green chemical companies through focusing on innovative chemicals and polymers and executing its vision to become a global leader for total solution provider for eco-friendly materials. SK Chemicals values METEX’s PDO technology on robustness, breadth of intellectual property and economical attractiveness.

During the last three years, METEX, a European pioneer in industrial biotechnologies, sampled several tons of PDO on the market, tested dozens of different crude glycerine grades so as to accumulate expertise and to understand better product performance and drivers in key applications. SK Chemicals strong technology and market access in the field of chemicals and polymer business are the main reasons why METEX has finally decided to license its technology exclusively to SK Chemicals. As a consequence of this new project, METEX has terminated all other discussions with potential PDO partners as well as its negotiations aiming at resuming its industrial project in Malaysia.

This exclusive alliance based on METEX’s technology will allow SK Chemicals to invest for the commercial production of PDO. The transaction’s financial terms consist of an upfront payment with subsequent milestone payments and royalties.

“Through the completion of this strategic alliance, a major player in the emerging field of industrial biotechnology is recognizing METEX technology’ excellence and our ability to develop industrial processes. We see the highest potential for new PDO volumes’ growth in Asia. Our choice to work exclusively with SK Chemicals is not just because of its industrial and financial capabilities, but also for its profile as one of the most committed companies to develop as a leader in bio-based chemicals, not just to follow a fashionable trend but on a long term basis. We believe that working with an established company of the size of SK Chemicals is a better option for value creation, not just for our shareholders, but also for the end users who are waiting for PDO and deserve to be delivered today with our Products of the Future.” states Benjamin Gonzalez, founder and CEO of METEX.

Younghwi Jin, SVP, the head of bio-based materials and energy division of SK Chemicals said “This exclusive license from METEX technology for PDO should be an exciting step forward for SK Chemicals to achieve its vision to become the world leading company in eco-friendly materials. Not only does it provide the opportunity to enter the PDO business, this exclusive partnership with METEX will also provide SK Chemicals a strong platform to expand our business portfolio for bio-based chemicals. Combining the most innovative leadership of METEX in the field of industrial bio- technology, and the extensive manufacturing, marketing experience and capability of SK Chemicals, we are confident to successfully execute the commercialization of PDO business.”

About METabolic EXplorer

METabolic EXplorer is a biological chemistry company that develops and delivers innovative bioprocesses for the manufacturing of existing chemicals into the industrial markets.

Using a unique asset combining an integrated set of technology platforms with an industrial pilot, METabolic Explorer develops sustainable solutions to replace today’s petrochemical processes with the use of a wide range of plant-based raw materials.

METabolic EXplorer traces its history to 1999 with the aim to become a leading biotechnology company with the industrialisation of its innovations via industrial partnerships in the shape of joint ventures and licences and in some cases via own-account developments (ie, manufacturing plants).

METabolic EXplorer has its principal offices in Clermont-Ferrand, France, is listed on NYSE Euronext in Paris (Compartment C, METEX) and is part of the CAC Small index.

About SK Chemicals

Since its formation in 1969, SK Chemicals Co., Ltd. has grown into one of the major healthcare and chemical companies in Korea through a series of continuous innovations, achieving the consolidated revenue of $8 bn. in 2013. The company is now trying to leap forward by reorganising its corporate structure into Green Chemicals and Life Science, under the vision of ‘Becoming a global leader of eco- friendly materials and total healthcare solutions provider’.

In its Green Chemicals Business, SK Chemicals is deploying a business portfolio of variety of excellent specialty chemicals and plastics and continuously implementing innovations to high performance plastics, bio-fuels and composite materials.

Source: Metabolic Explorer, press release, 2014-07-01.


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