Clermont-Ferrand, November 3rd, 2016 – METabolic EXplorer, a biological chemistry company that specialises in developing manufacturing bioprocesses for bio-based compounds used in a wide range of everyday products, including textile fibres, animal feed supplements and resins,- has succeeded in developing a fermentation process for manufacturing methionine. Methionine is one of the key amino acids, which are used in feed additives, and are an important pillar in sustainable animal nutrition.
Aiming at valorizing this technology to the best interest of the shareholders and of the concerned parties within the company and in due consideration of the recommendations of the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) about major asset disposals (in particular when the contemplated disposal price for the asset represents at least half of the group's market capitalization calculated on average over the past two years), the Board of Directors sought the opinion of its shareholders about the principle of the sale of METEX's methionine technology. The General Meeting held on September 29th, 2016 gave a positive opinion and the company pursued discussions under way with several potential partners involved in amino acids.
Specialty chemicals company Evonik, which is headquartered in Essen (Germany), is interested in this technology and submitted on October 27th 2016 a binding offer. It includes the takeover of METEX's entire methionine technology including patents, essential bacteria strains and the inoLa™ brand. These are to be transferred to Evonik at the time of completion of the transaction.
The intended transaction includes a back license agreement allowing METEX to continue using certain patents to be transferred to Evonik for other activities than those relating to the methionine. The companies also intend to explore the possibility of a Research & Development cooperation between both companies on the manufacturing of biotechnologically produced amino acids.
The METEX Board of Directors held on November 3rd, 2016 agreed to consider this offer from Evonik and accordingly decided to consult the company's Workers Council. This consultation process is expected to last between 15 and 60 days maximum. The contemplated transaction will be subject to final approval according to each party's corporate approval process.
The companies are planning a timely conclusion of the agreement and have agreed to exclusivity and not to disclose any information on the next steps until the final decision of each companies' board or committee.
With more than 60 years of experience in the production of essential amino acids, Evonik offers solutions for efficient and sustainable animal nutrition to customers in more than a hundred countries around the world.
About METabolic EXplorer – www.metabolic-explorer.com
METabolic EXplorer is a biological chemistry company founded in 1999. Its aim is to harness its biotechnological innovations to contribute to the alternative production of consumer goods in respect of the environment and in response to the new social expectations of consumers.
Based on the tried and tested principle of industrial fermentation, METabolic EXplorer's solutions replace today's petrochemical processes with the use of a wide range of plant-based raw materials. By optimizing the metabolic yield of non-pathogenic bacteria in a contained, controlled environment, the company facilitates the production of chemical compounds used in a wide range of everyday goods (textile fibres, plastics, resins, solvents or feed supplements for animal nutrition and health).
METabolic EXplorer is currently focusing its alternative processes on the production of three compounds that together have an estimated, annual, end-market value of €7 billion. The company's strategy will be implemented through industrial partnerships in the shape of licenses and joint ventures, as well as own-account production units.
METabolic EXplorer, based in Clermont-Ferrand, France, is listed on Euronext in Paris (Compartment C, METEX) and is part of the CAC Small index.
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