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09/01/2010 10:23 AM     print story email story  

Biofuel Company Mascoma Acquires SunOpta BioProcess News

Biofuel company Mascoma Corporation today announced the acquisition of SunOpta BioProcess Inc. (SBI), a division of SunOpta Inc. (Nasdaq: STKL; TSX: SOY).

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SunOpta BioProcess specializes in fiber preparation and pretreatment technologies that will add to Mascoma's capabilities for converting non-food cellulose (wood chips, energy crops and organic solid waste) into ethanol and co-products.

Both SBI and Mascoma have made significant progress towards commercialization and collectively have development partners in the US, Canada, China, Brazil and South Africa. In early 2010, SBI announced a major contract to supply its fiber preparation and pretreatment technology to one of the largest operators in the new energy sector in China.

“The combined company has extensive commercial experience, with the application of our technologies around the world, and the technology breadth to offer a complete biofuels solution," said Bill Brady, CEO of Mascoma.

The transaction has received all necessary corporate approvals. SBI will operate as Mascoma Canada, a wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary of Mascoma, and SunOpta Chairman Jeremy Kendall will join Mascoma’s Board of Directors.

Steve Bromley, President and CEO of SunOpta, said, “This transaction allows SunOpta shareholders to continue to participate in the commercialization of low-cost biofuels and xylitol through an equity investment in Mascoma. More importantly, it allows SunOpta to realize on its stated objective to focus on its core value-added natural and organic foods business.”

Mascoma, through its affiliate Frontier Renewable Resources LLC, is currently developing a commercial scale production facility in Kinross, Michigan. The facility is based on technologies developed in Mascoma’s laboratories in Lebanon, New Hampshire and operating in its 57,000-square-foot demonstration facility in Rome, New York. The facility will also incorporate technologies developed by SBI from its pilot operations in Waterdown, Ontario and Brampton, Ontario.

SunOpta, Inc. owns an an 18% stake in Mascoma Corporation.

Mascoma also has a long list of high profile investors, including General Motors, Khosla Ventures, Marathon Oil, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Flagship Ventures.


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