Technological watch

Danimer to Acquire Biodegradable Polymer Producer Novomer

Danimer Scientific has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Novomer a developer of conversion technology providing transformable, functional, and low net carbon inputs into the production of PHA-based resins and other biodegradable materials, in a cash transaction valued at $152 million. Each company’s Board of Directors have approved the transaction.
Novomer’s High-performing Products
Headquartered with a pilot plant in Rochester, New York, Novomer develops high-performing, carbon-efficient, cost-effective polymers and chemicals, including poly (3-hydroxypropionate) (“p(3HP)”), a type of polyhydroxyalkanoate (“PHA”), all of which can be sourced from renewable or non-renewable feedstocks. Novomer leverages its proprietary Novo22™ catalyst and intelligent process design to develop products in its pilot plant that can be produced at low costs. Novomer also has an extensive intellectual property portfolio with more than 100 issued patents and over 140 patents pending. Novomer has approximately 20 employees.
Danimer believes that Novomer’s p(3HP) is highly complementary with Danimer’s inputs and can be incorporated as a component in certain Danimer resins. Nodax®, Danimer’s signature PHA, and Novomer’s p(3HP) have different properties and attributes: Nodax® has strong performance and biodegradability properties, making it possible to be used across diverse end-use applications, while p(3HP) has improved barrier properties and is a lower cost non-fermented input.
Improved Facilities for Customers
By incorporating Novomer’s p(3HP) into Danimer’s customer solutions, Danimer expects to have greater flexibility to meet an even broader range of customer needs, and also expects to be able to produce its resins at a substantially lower cost. Additionally, by blending these inputs, Danimer will reduce the amount of fermentation required in the production of its resins. Given these significant benefits, the Company expects to modify its previously announced greenfield construction plans for its new facility in Bainbridge, Georgia to include fewer fermenters and expand Novomer’s production capacity. This transaction and the resulting modifications are expected to meaningfully reduce Danimer’s planned capital expenditures on a per-pound basis while increasing the anticipated overall volume of finished product it will be able to deliver when also taking into account the completion of its Kentucky Phase II expansion.
Danimer regularly evaluates its plans against potential opportunities to further improve its cost profile while maintaining flexibility to enable capacity for increasing customer demand. The Company will continue to focus on enhancing capacity and/or lowering its capital expenditures and production costs on a per-pound basis.
Statements by the Company Heads
Stephen E. Croskrey, chief executive officer of Danimer, said, “This is an important acquisition for Danimer that advances our strategy of providing biodegradable solutions to the plastics industry to help solve the global plastic waste crisis. Novomer’s highly complementary proprietary technology and process development expertise offer numerous technical, operational and financial benefits for Danimer and our blue-chip customers. Paired with Danimer’s leadership in application development, we will now have the potential to provide an even broader range of products with improved barrier properties for packaging and other uses at a lower cost – all while using less energy and delivering biodegradability. Further, we expect that Novomer’s simplified manufacturing and operational processes will accelerate our ability to scale our production capabilities and to do so at a much lower average capital expenditure per pound than we had previously forecast. This is a milestone event for our Company and we look forward to welcoming the Novomer team to Danimer.”

Phillip Van Trump, chief science and technology officer of Danimer, added, “Novomer has proven its technology in pilot applications and we have validated the biodegradability of Novomer’s biopolymers through rigorous assessment and third-party testing. We believe that by incorporating Novomer’s technology in our processes, we can further enhance production to meet our customers’ commercial needs with a broader suite of biodegradable solutions.”
In addition to using Novomer’s p(3HP) as an input in, and in conjunction with, the production of Nodax® based resins, this technology can also be used to produce acrylic acid from renewable and other sources for use across superabsorbent polymer (“SAP”) products like diapers and feminine hygiene products. Also, the addition of Novomer’s world-class scientists, engineers and technicians to the Danimer team, as well as its broad portfolio of patents, presents meaningful opportunities to develop new applications and drive continued innovation and growth in the years ahead.”
Novomer’s chief executive officer, Jeff Uhrig, will report to Danimer CEO Stephen E. Croskrey and will continue to lead the Novomer team in coordination with Danimer’s senior leadership.
We’re thrilled to join Danimer and its outstanding team, who share our commitment to the development and manufacturing of biodegradable products,” said Mr. Uhrig. “Danimer is at the forefront of the bioplastics industry as a premium biopolymer supplier and we look forward to leveraging its valuable resources and go-to-market expertise to scale efficiently together and address growing global blue-chip customer demand for our solutions.
Source: Danimer Scientific

Publication date: 29/07/2021

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This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.