AMSTERDAM, June 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Today AVANTIUM announced that it has closed a financing round of €36 million ($50 million) from a consortium of iconic strategic players. This unique consortium consists of Swire Pacific, The Coca-Cola Company, DANONE, ALPLA, and existing shareholders. With this capital raise the new investors affirm their commitment to advancing PEF, Avantium's next generation packaging material. Proceeds will be used to complete the industrial validation of PEF and finalize the engineering & design of the first commercial scale plant. As part of its strategy to use responsibly sourced plant based materials for PEF production, Avantium will validate the use of 2nd generation feedstock.
Follow on investments were made by existing shareholders Sofinnova Partners, Capricorn Venture Partners, ING Corporate Investments, Aescap Venture, Navitas Capital, Aster Capital and De Hoge Dennen Capital.
Tom van Aken, CEO Avantium, stated: "Closing this financing round with Swire, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, ALPLA and our existing investors underpins their commitment to making PEF bottles a commercial success. PEF is a 100% biobased plastic with superior performance compared to today's packaging materials and represents a tremendous market opportunity. Our proprietary YXY technology to make PEF has been proven at pilot plant scale as we are now moving to commercial deployment."
Philippe Lacamp, Swire Pacific's Head of Sustainable Development, said: "We are excited to invest in Avantium, which has an impressive track record in developing breakthrough technology. This investment aligns with our sustainable development strategy to build and develop a portfolio of promising early stage sustainable technologies to reach commercial scale. The technology that Avantium supplies represents a pathway to the next generation of bio-based packaging materials, and has huge potential application for our existing bottling businesses."
Yu Shi, Director Next Generation Materials and Sustainability Research at The Coca-Cola Company, comments: "By advancing smart technology, we believe performance and sustainability can go hand-in-hand to make a world of difference for consumers, the environment and our business. Avantium's breakthrough technology continues to offer a promising pathway for supporting both our efforts to commercialize renewable, plant-based plastics and develop unique properties for packaging to drive new growth. We are pleased to further expand our existing partnership with Avantium through this latest investment."
Frederic Jouin, Director of Danone Research Packaging Center, comments: "We participate in this venture as we believe in the future of bio-based plastics for our packaging, with a potential significant reduction in carbon footprint and enhanced barrier properties compared to PET. With this investment, we re-affirm our will to launch a 100% bio-based bottle not in direct competition with food and 100% recyclable and our wish to accelerate this launch on the market."
Jan van der Eijk, Chairman of the Avantium Supervisory Board, adds: "It is a remarkable milestone in the biobased chemicals industry that large brand owners, such as The Coca-Cola Company and DANONE jointly invest for the first time in a company like Avantium. Together with the investment of Swire and ALPLA, it is clear to us that the market is willing to back winning technologies, such as PEF."
About Avantium - http://www.avantium.com/financing
Avantium is a leading technology company specialized in the area of advanced high-throughput R&D. The company develops and commercializes YXY - the brand name for its cost competitive technology platform to catalytically convert plant based materials into biobased chemicals and bioplastics like PEF. PEF is a novel 100% biobased polyester with enhanced barrier, thermal and mechanical properties over existing packaging materials. These properties enable new packaging innovations to make lighter, thinner, smaller and stronger bottles, to extend product shelf life and to provide supply chain benefits. Combined with the 50-70% reduction in carbon footprint, PEF fulfils key criteria to become the next generation biobased plastic for bottles, film and fibers.
Today Avantium is supplying its technology development partners with PEF manufactured from material produced at its pilot plant in Geleen, The Netherlands. Avantium is planning its first commercial scale plant (50,000ton), which is projected to be operational in 2017 to enable the full commercial launch of the first PEF bottles to consumers.