METABOLIX
Binding letter of intent with South Korea's CJ CheilJedang for biopolymers slate / USD 10m deal to close by mid-September / Refocus on crop yield activities
In many ways the writing was already on the wall. After biopolymer specialist Metabolix (Cambridge, Massachusetts / USA; www.metabolix.com) announced that it was seeking for a buyer for its biopolymers slate (for most recent coverage, see Plasteurope.com of 28.07.2016), the company on 23 August said it had entered into a binding letter of intent with CJ CheilJedang (Seoul / South Korea; www.cj.co.kr/cj-en/index) for the assets in question. In the face of severe financial distress, Metabolix had earlier said if no buyer were found, it would have to close down altogether and liquidate all its PHA assets.

CJ is the logical choice as buyer of the business, not least since the two companies in April signed an agreement for the strategic commercial manufacture of Metabolix's speciality PHAs, with CJ agreeing to finance, build and operate a 10,000 t/y plant in Fort Dodge, Iowa / USA (see Plasteurope.com of 01.04.2016). Under the terms of the latest deal, the US group has agreed to sell the biopolymer intellectual property and certain laboratory equipment for a total price of USD 10m. The South Korean group has already paid USD 2m, with the remainder due once the transaction closes, likely in mid-September.

The specific details of the arrangement call for Metabolix to transfer some of its intellectual property, including the microbial strains used to produce its fermentation-based products, as well as the patent rights for the production and use of PHA biopolymers. CJ will also acquire some of the relevant laboratory equipment, and will likely be able to sublease parts of Metabolix’s production facility in Woburn, Massachusetts / USA.

Metabolix CEO Joseph Shaulson said the “transaction will help put the company on a more stable footing and enable us to move forward with our plan to make Yield10 Bioscience our core business.” After laying off about 45 staff, the new Metabolix expects to have about 20 employees focusing on its crop yield business. The group intends to rebrand itself as Yield10 Bioscience in the coming months.
24.08.2016 Plasteurope.com [234885-0]
Published on 24.08.2016
Metabolix: Biopolymer-Spezialist verkauft PHA-SparteGerman version of this article...

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