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Biofuels & Biobased Earnings Roundup: Corbion

by Jim Lane The Top Line. In the Netherlands, Corbion (CRBN.AS; CSNVY) reported H1 2018 sales of € 439.2 million, a decrease of 4.9% compared to H1 2017, entirely due to negative currency effects. Organic sales growth was 3.1%. EBITDA excluding one-off items in H1 2018 decreased by 19.0% to € 71.5 million due to negative currency effects and the inclusion of the Algae Ingredients business. Organic EBITDA excluding one-off items increased by 1.2% in H1 2018. The Big Highlights. The acquisition of the Algae Ingredients business (TerraVia assets + SB Renewable Oils joint venture) has added an algae fermentation platform to Corbion. In H1 2018,...
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Biofuels & Biobased Earnings Roundup: DSM

by Jim Lane The Top Line. In the Netherlands, Royal DSM (Amsterdam: DSM.AS; US OTC:KDSKF; US ADR:RDSMY) reported a good H1 with organic sales growth in underlying business estimated at 10% and adjusted EBITDA growth of underlying business estimated at 7%, with sales of €4,794 million and adjusted EBITDA of €771 million. The Big Highlights. Nutrition: an estimated 8% underlying organic sales growth and Adjusted EBITDA growth of underlying business estimated at 6%. Materials: 7% organic sales growth and Adjusted EBITDA growth of 5%. DSM also confirmed its full year outlook 2018, as provided at Q1 2018, and expects an Adjusted EBITDA growth towards...

From Fuel To Fudge

by Debra Fiakas CFA This week the last reminder of the renewable fuels business that was once called Solazyme will be gone.  The old Solazyme has abandoned the goal of producing renewable fuels using the oils from algae.  Instead, under a new name TerraVia, the company is directing its algae cultivation and harvesting knowhow toward growing edible algae for food and personal care products.  To make the change complete the old stock symbol ‘SYZM’ gives way this week to a new trading symbol ‘TVIA.’ No doubt there is more than just a little hope in Terra...

Solazyme’s Detours on the Way to Algae Biofuel

by Debra Fiakas CFA Investors who took the time to read my last two posts on algae-based biofuel – “Algae Takes Flight” and “Emission Standards Driving Aviation Fuel Sourcing”  -   might have wondered why there was no mention of Solazyme, Inc. (SZYM:  Nasdaq).  California-based Solazyme has been pursuing algae-based oils for transportation since 2004, and managed to record its first product sales in 2011.  However, that revenue was not from biofuel. On the long road to finding a scalable and efficient way to get renewable fuel from algae, Solazyme scientists found an interesting extract...

Gevo Begins To Ship Missing Link For 100% Renewable Plastic Bottles

Jim Lane From Colorado, news has arrived that Gevo (GEVO) is now selling paraxyleme to Toray (TRYIF), one of the world’s leading producers of fibers, plastics, films, and chemicals. It’s producing PX from isobutanol, one of its three molecules in production (the others are jet fuel and iso-ocrane) at its complex in Silsbee, Texas. Toray expects to produce fibers, yarns, and films from Gevo’s PX. While any new molecule attached to a major customer relationship is always big news for any producer this has special significance. Let’s review exactly why....

Amyris Boards The Sweet Fleet

Jim Lane Back in September 2015, we reported that Amyris inked a multi-year agreement with the US Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, the famed DARPA that gave us everything from kevlar to the Global Positioning System and the Internet the goal in this $35M agreement with the Biological Technologies Office was to create new research and development tools and technologies compressing the time to market for any new molecule by at least 10-fold in both time and cost. The story expanded this week when we heard from Amyris (AMRS) that it had completed strain engineering and...

Amyris: 90 Days To Build The Future

Jim Lane In California, Amyris (AMRS) reported Q1 revenues of $13.0M compared with $8.8M for Q1 2016, and touted the “significant increase in product sales, primarily in the personal care and health and nutrition markets, offset by a slight decline in collaboration revenue.” Collaboration revenues contributed $4.7M and product sales added $8.3M for the quarter. Big Q1 miss vs analyst expectations As Jeff Osborne at Cowen & Co noted, “Amyris reported revenue of $13.0mn, well below our estimate of $37.1mn due to much lower collaboration payments than we had anticipated. Management has highlighted that these payments can...

Bioplastics Maker Avantium’s IPO Plans

Jim Lane Here’s our 10-minute version of the filing, slightly re-organized to make sense to Earthlings instead of aliens from the Planet Prospectus. In the Netherlands, bioplastics maker Avantium is planning an initial public offering and listing of all shares on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Brussels. The company expects to raise up to €100 million (USD$106 million) and complete the offering by the end of the current quarter. More than half of the offering has already been secured via commitments from cornerstone investors. Avantium’s YXY technology converts plant-based sugar into chemicals and plastics, including 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid, a precursor...

Elevance’s $100M IPO: The 10-Minute Version

Jim Lane Like to quickly understand the surge in renewable chemicals and one of the hottest companies in the hottest sector of the bioconomy? Here’s our 10-minute version of the IPO from Elevance Renewable Sciences. Complete with the risks, translated into English from the original SEC-speak. In Illinois, Elevance Renewable Sciences filed its S-1 registration statement relating to a proposed $100 million initial public offering. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined. The company indicated that it has apply to list the stock on NASDAQ under the ERSI symbol. The...

New Bio-Based Tacky Resins Launched With Amyris Technology

Jim Lane In France, Cray Valley has launched new tackifying resins produced with Amyris’ (AMRS) biologically derived Biofene branded farnesene. Tack is the measure of stickiness vital to everything from adhesives that need to hold things in place to inks that need to stay on the printed page. According to independent market research firm, MarketsandMarkets.com, the global tackifier market is projected to reach USD 3.56 billion by 2020. This poses a large opportunity for renewable farnesene-based tackifiers and Amyris believes it can access a large market share as its product applications within the space achieve commercial scale. Cray...

Avantium IPO “Many Times Oversubscribed:” What Buyers Are So Excited About

Jim Lane  In France, Avantium completed its highly-anticipated initial public offering, raising $109.5M (€103M) via the sale of 9,401,793 shares at $11.70 (€11) per share, giving the company a market capitalization reaches of $294M (€277M). Trading will begin on March 15th 2017 on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Bruxelles under the symbol AVTX. The Company anticipates to use €65-75 million of the net proceeds of the Offering for the funding of the Joint Venture, enabling it to construct and operate the reference plant for the commercialization of the YXY technology. The company’s first world-scale plant is a 50,000 tons...

The “Jesus” Molecule: Paraxylene

Jim Lane The Coca-Cola Company invests in Gevo, Virent and Avantium partnerships, in the race to develop renewable plastic bottling entirely from renewables. There’s been an awful lot of press this week about progress in the search for the God particle. That’s the subatomic Higgs Boson a key, but as yet undetected, anchor in the standard model of the universe. Then there’s the Jesus molecule. As in, “Kind lord Jesus in Heaven, grant me an affordable way to make one of those.” It’s renewable PX, also known as your friend, paraxylene a key, but as...

BioAmber Launching Asian Joint Venture

Amber Waves of Gain In South Korea, BioAmber (BIOA) and CJ CheilJedang Corporation signed a LOI for a joint venture in China to produce up to 36,000 metric tons of bio-succinic acid per year. It’s not a greenfield. The CJCJ JV involves a retrofit of an existing fermentation plant in a market that BioAmber cannot readily penetrate today. How is BioAmber able to convert this plant? It comes down to a low pH yeast, which allows us to leverage CJCJ’s existing fermenters and purification equipment. The retrofit will allow the partners to bring this capacity on line quickly,...

Jobs at Gevo

by Debra Fiakas CFA Management teams at the helm of public companies often shade the realities of their competitive or strategic situation, alternately painting better circumstances or downplaying declining fortunes.  There are myriad ways of giving management’s guidance a reality check.  Renewable bio-chemicals developer Gevo, Inc. (GEVO:  Nasdaq) is on my “watch list” as one of the more interesting companies in the Beach Boys Index.    Gevo’s financial results missed the consensus estimate in both the March and June 2012 quarters, but management made claims of important victories.  Gevo has won important decisions in the disagreement...

Amyris’ Mysterious Partner

Jim Lane In California, Amyris (AMRS) has a new partner, described fetchingly yet with near-to-complete vagueness as a “a leader in food ingredients and nutraceuticals” which is roughly as helpful as describing a person as “someone who enjoys ice cream”. Some ice cream there is, nevertheless, in this agreement, which will bring a short-term collaboration investment of $10 million, an equity investment of up to $20 million at $1.40 per share, and $100 million in annual revenue starting in 2017 connected to the production and cost improvement of fermentation molecules. One thing, and the only one, we discover...

BioAmber Goes Ballistic

Jim Lane Word arrived from Minnesota that BioAmber has signed a 210,000 ton per year take-or-pay contract for bio-based succinic acid with Vinmar International. Explaining why BioAmber (BIOA) stock shot up nearly 17% in today’s trading despite a global equities pullback that affected almost everyone else in industrial biotech. Under the terms of the 15-year agreement, Vinmar has committed to purchase and BioAmber Sarnia has committed to sell 10,000 tons of succinic acid per year from the 30,000 ton per year capacity plant that is currently under construction in Sarnia, Canada. Bottom line, BioAmber continues to roll and roll....