The two companies have been working together since May of last year; and this particular deal was first announced in mid-November.
“We are very pleased with the continued expansion of our strategic alliance with DSM,” John Melo, Amyris president and CEO, says in a company press release. “This manufacturing partnership and the sale of our Brotas 1 factory allows us to accelerate the development and manufacturing of specialty, high-performance ingredients.”
Amyris feeds sugarcane to its own designer yeast to generate farnesene, which is the basis of the company’s ECOCERT squalene and hemisqualane products.
To expedite the proof-of-concept phase and get consumers excited about the potential of biotech, Amyris launched the consumer skin care brand Biossance nearly one year ago, as Cosmetics Design reported.
This, in addition to the fact that “customers comprising hundreds of the world's leading brands use our high-end sugar cane-derived squalane emollient in numerous high-performance cosmetic and personal care brands,” as the Amyris site puts it, have ensured a place for the company’s ingredients in formulations industry wide.
This is the business that DSM will build upon. “Following our equity investment in Amyris and subsequent product development cooperations, I am pleased that we can add a state-of-the-art fermentation-based production facility to our network,” says Chris Goppelsroeder, president and CEO of DSM Nutritional Products, in the Amyris press release.
The company’s plan is to combine Amyris’ technology with DSM’s own capabilities of making ingredients at the scope and scale of global industry.
“Our know-how in fermentation, downstream process development and large-scale manufacturing will allow us to further improve the operational performance of the facility while further strengthening our strategic alliance with Amyris,” explains Goppelsroeder.
DSM is paying $59 million dollars for Amyris Brasil Ltda as well as the company’s intellectual property pertaining to farnesene. Beyond that “an additional value share arrangement over a three-year period amounting to US$ 37.5 million” is part of the deal. And Amyris may receive even more as the venture grows: “there is potential for a future value share in line with Amyris’ business model,” explains DSM’s November press release outlining terms.
The multimillion-dollar deal is apparently an eventuality Amyris had been counting on for some time. “This transaction completes a planned shift from operating a plant originally designed to produce high volumes of farnesene, to producing an expanding number of high-value, specialty ingredients,” Melo tells the press. “This shift will allow Amyris to improve returns and cash flows in order to continue to provide sustainable growth for Amyris and its partners.”