Company initiatives, Investments, Press Release

Corbion acquires TerraVia for $20m

Corbion, which specializes in lactic acid and derivatives, recently announced the acquisition of substantially all assets of TerraVia Holdings (formerly Solazyme), which will result in an expansion of its product platform to include microalgae-based food and specialty ingredients.

Corbion has paid a cash purchase price of around $20m but it expects the total investments to be more than the purchase price given that TerraVia’s operations are reportedly losing money.  However, the acquisition is expected to bring high value creation potential such as omega-3 oils for animal nutrition, tailored oils, structured fats and proteins for food, personal care and industrial applications.

TerraVia has an R&D center and pilot facility in San Francisco, a demonstration plant in Peoria, Illinois, and an industrial-scale plant in Brazil in a joint venture (50.1% owned by TerraVia) with Bunge. As co-owner of the SB Oils joint venture in Brazil, Corbion will also guarantee half of the JV’s $45m outstanding debt.

I have written a more comprehensive article on TerraVia’s assets, previous collaborations/partnerships and overview of some of the bio-based chemical industry’s M&As and restructuring in the August issue of Tecnon OrbiChem’s Biomaterials newsletter.

It will be interesting to hear what Corbion plans to do next with TerraVia’s IP portfolio and R&D pipeline.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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