press release 09.06.2011
Avantium raises EUR 30 million to advance YXY technology
Avantium is proud to announce that it has successfully raised EUR 30 million to advance its breakthrough YXY technology for green building blocks. Avantium will use the funds for the construction and operation of its pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, and for the development of green materials on basis of these YXY building blocks.
Avantium has completed a EUR 25 million financing round with new investors Sofinnova Partners, Aster Capital and De Hoge Dennen as well as existing investors Aescap Venture, Capricorn Cleantech Fund, ING Corporate Investments and Navitas Capital. In addition Avantium has secured a subsidy and innovation credit, in total EUR 5 million, from the Dutch Ministry of Economy, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I). Part of the funding has been used to buy out shares held by DFJ Esprit, AlpInvest, Eastman, EDBI and Pfizer, aligning the company's shareholder base with its strategy.
Next generation green materials Avantium is building a pilot plant to demonstrate its YXY technology which enables the cost effective production of Furanics building blocks for green materials and fuels. The pilot plant will also be able to produce larger volumes of YXY building blocks for application development of new, green plastics, chemicals and materials. This will facilitate the development and commercialization of Avantium's next-generation polyester: PEF. PEF is a new to the world polymer that can be made out of plant material instead of oil. Avantium expects that PEF will become the green material to replace petroleum based polyesters such as PET. Avantium has demonstrated that PEF has numerous superior properties when compared with PET, including lower permeability of oxygen, carbon-dioxide and water and an enhanced ability to withstand heat.
The YXY technology makes it possible to produce a 100% biobased, 100% recyclable polyester that can compete on price and performance with traditional materials such as PET. Avantium is actively working on the development of PEF bottles for beverages, food, cosmetic products and detergents. In parallel, Avantium is developing both PEF fibers, used for textiles and carpets, as well as other materials based on of its YXY building blocks, such as polyamides and coatings.
Tom van Aken, Chief Executive Officer of Avantium said: "We are privileged to welcome Sofinnova, Aster and De Hoge Dennen as new investors as we look to scale and commercialize our YXY technology. The strong support of our current shareholders and our ability to attract such reputable investors validate the potential of our technology and products. We are experiencing an overwhelming interest from consumer goods and industrial companies who wish to use our YXY building blocks for a broad range of applications, including PEF bottles for water, soft drinks and beer, PEF fibers for apparel and carpets, and engineering plastics for automotive and electronic materials. This funding will allow us to prove our process on a larger scale and to do application testing in collaboration with brand owners and industrial partners. We are also proud to have secured the support of the Dutch Ministry of EL&I for Avantium as part of their active promotion of the transition to a biobased economy".
Strong investor base
Michiel de Haan, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Avantium and General Partner of Aescap Venture, said: "This financing round represents a major strengthening of our investor base. We are extremely happy that new, high quality investors are joining us to build Avantium into a global technology leader in green building blocks, and would like to thank the departing investors for their historical role in the company".
Unique technology in huge market
Denis Lucquin, General Partner at Sofinnova Partners, who will join Avantium's Supervisory Board, said: "We have found in Avantium a first class management team eager to drive the company on the forefront of world competition in bio sourced plastics and materials. The uniqueness of Avantium's YXY technology provide them the opportunity to be the first company able to put on the market a fully bio-sourced polyester suitable for water and soft drinks bottling, representing a huge market. They will have many other applications as already shown through their collaboration with Teijin Aramid. We are very excited to be part of this new challenge".
Avantium is a leading technology company specialized in the area of advanced high-throughput R&D. The company develops and commercializes YXY - its brand name for chemical building blocks for making green materials and fuels that can compete on both price and performance with oil based alternatives. Avantium has demonstrated the value and commercial potential of its unique technology and knowledge by collaborating with leading companies in the energy and chemical industries. Avantium has a global customer base for its profitable R&D services and systems offering, including market leaders such as BP, Shell and Sasol. Avantium offices and headquarters are based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
For more information about Avantium, please contact Mariëtte Hoogendoorn at +31 20 586 8010 or visit the corporate website: www.avantium.com
Avantium has developed YXY (pronounced as icksy) - a family of green building blocks for making materials and fuels that can compete on both price and performance with oil based alternatives, but which have a superior environmental footprint. YXY is a patented technology that converts biomass into Furanics building blocks, such as FDCA (2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid). FDCA is the monomer that can be used for the production of the green polyester PEF (Poly-ethylene-furanoate). YXY is the perfect solution for today's challenges, using carbohydrates as feedstock to enable the manufacture of products which are both green and sustainable. This fast and cost-effective production process is based on Avantium's catalytic technology. YXY can be implemented in existing chemical production assets. Avantium is collaborating with leading companies in the industry to develop and produce green materials and fuels based on YXY building blocks. See www.yxy.com for more information.
About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is an independent venture capital firm based in Paris, France. For over 35 years, the firm has backed nearly 500 companies at different stages of development - pure creations, spin-offs, as well as turnaround situations - and worked alongside Europe's key entrepreneurs in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors. With €1.1 billion of funds under management, Sofinnova Partners' experienced team and hands-on approach in building portfolio companies through to exit have created market leaders, from landmark historical investments including Genentech, Actelion and Vistaprint to more recent successes such as CoreValve, Novexel, Fovea, Sensitive Object, Movetis and PreGlem. With a global mindset, the firm has a sister organization in San Francisco, California. Please visit www.sofinnova.fr for more information on Sofinnova's team and portfolio.
About Aster Capital
Aster Capital Partners, headquartered in Paris, was founded in 2000 by Schneider Electric. Aster Capital Partners manages two funds: SEV1, a 50 M€ fund with investments in more than 20 companies and Aster II, a new 100 M€ fund, sponsored by Schneider Electric, Alstom and Rhodia. This second fund offers a unique multi-corporate business model, and will target minority stakes in innovative start-ups located in Europe, North America and Asia and operating in the field of energy, advanced materials and the environment. For more information, visit www.aster.com.
About De Hoge Dennen
De Hoge Dennen is a family owned investment company which invests in several asset classes, amongst others direct private equity and indirect private equity. The investment company has a long term focus. De Hoge Dennen‘s added value is based on its entrepreneurial background, a team of multi-disciplinary professionals and its network.
About Aescap Venture
Aescap Venture is a venture capital company investing in private medical companies in Europe. Aescap invests in high-potential companies with the potential to become global leaders in their markets. This involves investments in all phases of development with an emphasis on earlier stages. Aescap Venture's added value is based on a multi-disciplinary team of four experienced investment partners. Each has a proven track record of success and the skills to coach entrepreneurs in accelerating the growth of their companies.
About Capricorn Cleantech Fund
Capricorn Venture Partners is a pan-European manager of venture capital funds seeking to invest in technology-based growth companies. Capricorn is investing out of its Capricorn Cleantech Fund and its Capricorn Health-tech Fund. The Cleantech fund invests in European growth companies developing innovative breakthrough technologies in the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency, water purification and re-use, bio-based material conversion and bio-refinery platforms, clean air, climate change, green chemistry and advanced materials, materials recovery and recycling. The investment team of Capricorn is composed of experienced investment managers with deep technology expertise and a broad industrial experience. The Capricorn Cleantech Fund benefits from investment by the European Investment Fund through the "Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme" of the European Union. For more information visit their website at www.capricorn.be.
About ING Corporate Investments
ING Corporate Investments provides risk-bearing capital ranging from subordinated debt to equity participations to mid-market companies and large corporates in the Benelux. Its focus is on providing financial solutions for growth investments, acquisitions, buy-outs, (partial) exits, recapitalizations and a range of other transactions. ING Corporate Investments is part of ING Commercial Banking. For more information see: www.ingcommercialbanking.com.
About Navitas Capital
Navitas Capital is the investment company of the Zeeman family that invests in rock solid companies with excellent management. The investment company has long term participating interests in mainly Dutch companies, including both private companies with clear growth potential and listed companies. Sound entrepreneurship and down-to-earth professionalism are the key success factors. For more information please visit: www.navitascapital.nl.