Corbion announces ‘stalking horse’ bid to buy TerraVia

By Erin Voegele | August 07, 2017

On Aug. 2, Amsterdam-based Corbion announced it has entered into a “stalking horse” stock and asset purchase agreement with TerraVia Holding Inc., a company previously known as Solazyme Inc., following an announcement by TerraVia that it had filed for a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Execution of the stock and asset purchase agreement is subject to a sale process to be conducted under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Corbion said it offered a cash purchase price of approximately $20 million, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the stock and asset purchase agreement. The transaction is subject to the receipt of any higher offers from other potential bidders in an auction process as part of the Section 363 sale. TerraVia said it expects a sale to be completed within 60 to 90 days.

Based in San Francisco, TerraVia has proprietary algae-based sugar-to-oil technology that it uses to produce food, nutrition and specialty ingredients. Prior to 2016, the company was also active in the fuels industry. In March 2016, Solazyme rebranded itself as TerraVia and redefined its focus in the food, nutrition and personal care industries.

TerraVia currently operates a research and development center in San Francisco and two manufacturing facilities, including a wholly owned facility in Peoria, Illinois, and a facility in Brazil that is a joint venture with Bunge. TerraVia owns 50.1 percent of the Brazilian joint venture.

According to Corbion, the acquisition of TerraVia’s microalgae platform would extend its product portfolio into algae-based fatty acids and proteins, while leveraging Corbion’s extensive fermentation and downstream processing activities.

Corbion is active in two lines of business. Its biobased ingredients business unit focuses on food and biochemicals. Its biobased innovations unit aims to create new biotechnology business platforms and is currently involved in several projects, including a joint venture with Total for biobased polylactic acid bioplastic (PLA) and a joint venture with BASF for biobased succinic acid.