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Joint Venture will accelerate the Commercialization of Revolutionary Microalgae-Based Healthy Food Ingredients and Oils
Solazyme, Inc. the California-based leader in renewable oil and bioproducts and Roquette Frères, the global starch and starch-derivatives company headquartered in France, today announce that they have signed a joint venture (JV) agreement for the production, commercialization and market development of microalgae-derived food ingredients, subject to regulatory approvals and notifications.
The JV is being formed to launch an entirely new category of natural, healthy and functional ingredients based on microalgae that provide superior nutritional properties along with outstanding taste and texture. Solazyme-Roquette Nutritionals plans to launch a variety of oil, protein and fiber based products aimed at delivering improved performance with a vastly superior health profile compared to ingredients in the market today.
The JV, which will be 50% owned by each parent company, will be named Solazyme-Roquette Nutritionals, and will be operational by the beginning of 2011. The JV's management team and board of directors will be drawn from both parent companies with Solazyme's CEO, Jonathan Wolfson serving as the initial CEO of the JV. Roquette will fund and build a JV-owned, commercial-scale manufacturing plant with capacity in the tens of thousands of tons of annual production, sited at a Roquette corn wet mill. In addition, Roquette will provide upfront licensing payments to Solazyme and working capital to fund the JV until reaching profitability.
This JV combines Roquette's history and capabilities as a global food ingredient supplier with Solazyme's highly innovative microalgae-based technology. Like Solazyme, Roquette has been actively developing a microalgal nutritional platform and runs the ALGOHUB® program while currently selling algae-based nutritional products. Roquette also possesses strong global manufacturing assets, and access to carbohydrate feedstock in multiple geographies through its network of highly efficient mills. In addition, the JV will leverage Roquette's large, global nutritional sales force to stimulate rapid market entry and provide access to major food companies worldwide. The merger of Roquette's extensive resources with Solazyme's revolutionary microalgae-derived food ingredient technology, which includes heart-healthy algal flours and oils, will provide solutions that improve both product functionality and nutritional profile in large market food ingredient applications.
"Roquette is a family-owned company with outstanding values which create the basis for a long-term relationship with Solazyme. Beyond that, Roquette provides a total package including feedstock, manufacturing and applications expertise, and robust sales, marketing and customer relationships," says Jonathan Wolfson, CEO and co-founder of Solazyme. "Combined with Solazyme's technology, the joint venture is extremely well-equipped to commercialize revolutionary natural products into the food industry that provide all of the performance benefits consumers have come to expect, while providing the improved nutritional profiles they deserve."
"Solazyme and Roquette share a very clearly-defined vision that microalgae will provide a major new class of food ingredients and we enter this JV very enthusiastic about the future," says Guy Talbourdet, CEO of Roquette. Marc Roquette, Chairman of Roquette continued, "We believe that along with Roquette, Solazyme possesses the most innovative microalgal food ingredient technology in the world, and we look forward to using our extensive skills and assets to help bring this technology to market."
Solazyme, Inc. is a renewable oil and bioproducts company and the leader in algal biotechnology. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in South San Francisco, Solazyme’s unique technology produces renewable oils and biomaterials in standard fermentation facilities quickly, efficiently and at large scale. These oils and biomaterials provide replacements for fossil petroleum and plant oils in a diverse range of products running from clean fuels and chemicals to cosmetics and foods. Solazyme’s oils provide compelling solutions to increasingly complex issues of fuel and food scarcity, energy security and environmental impact while fitting cleanly into the pre-existing multi-trillion dollar production, distribution and consumption infrastructure. Solazyme’s investors among others include Morgan Stanley, Braemar Energy Ventures, Harris & Harris Group, Lightspeed Venture Partners, The Roda Group, and VantagePoint Venture Partners. For more information, please visit our website at www.solazyme.com
About Roquette Frères
Founded in 1933 in Lestrem (Nord Pas de Calais – France), the ROQUETTE Group is one of the world’s leading starch producers. As a bio-refiner, it converts renewable natural resources (such as wheat, corn, potatoes and peas) into a range of ingredients for the food processing, chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries. Reliability, expertise, innovation, anticipating needs and supporting its customers lie at the heart of ROQUETTE’s products and services. Keen to build on its leadership position while continuing to innovate and diversify, this family-run business has made nutrition one of its key areas of development, expressed in tangible terms through an ambitious, dedicated research program, NUTRAHUB®. The aim of this program is to generate value from functional ingredients derived from plant raw materials, in particular microalgae. These last offer high potential in Nutrition and Health, and ROQUETTE Group runs a dedicated Research Program ALGOHUB®, with partners, launched 2 years ago, to develop new ingredients solutions. ROQUETTE has the objective to develop microalgae and extracts as high value-added ingredients. By the creation of this JV, ROQUETTE Group confirms its will to be a major actor in the microalgae industry, worldwide. For more information, please visit our website: www.roquette.com
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Lia LoBello, 212-931-6180
Genet Garamendi, 650-963-5228
Roquette - NUTRAHUB®
Philippe Caillat, +33-(0)18.104.22.168.73
Roquette – Corporate Press Relations
Marie-Laure Empinet, +33-(0)22.214.171.124.51
Gina Steffensmeier, 319-526 2295
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