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Metabolix signs $10 million binding LOI with CJ CheilJedang

Karen Laird

August 23, 2016

2 Min Read
Metabolix signs $10 million binding LOI with CJ CheilJedang

Metabolix Inc. and South Korea’s largest food company, CJ CheilJedang Corp., announced today that they have entered into a binding letter of intent for the sale of Metabolix’s biopolymer intellectual property and certain laboratory equipment. The deal, which involves a total purchase price of $10 million, underscores CJ CheilJedang’s ambition to expand into industrial biotechnology, or the “white biotechnology” field.

Under the agreement, CJ will secure the Metabolix’s research and development lab in Boston, Massachusetts and take over the patent rights covering the production and usage of polyhydroxyalkanoate biopolymers, including the platform microbial strains used to produce the Company’s fermentation based products.

“In addition to securing leadership in the global green bio business, we have now gained a foothold in expanding our R&D capabilities to enter the industrial biomaterials sector,” said Roh Hang-duk, vice president of CJ CheilJedang’s biotechnology business in a statement.

The first $2 million of the purchase price was paid by CJ on execution of the LOI and the remaining balance is payable on closing of the transaction, which is anticipated in mid-September. Completion of the transaction is subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements and other customary conditions.

“We believe this transaction will help put the Company on a more stable footing and enable us to move forward with our plan to make Yield10 Bioscience our core business,” said Joseph Shaulson, president and CEO of Metabolix. “We are excited about our new direction and look forward to focusing our efforts on developing disruptive technologies for step-change improvements in crop yield.”

In July, Metabolix announced it was eliminating approximately 45 positions in its biopolymer operations and corporate organization, and pursuing the sale of its biopolymers business assets. The company anticipates a staff of approximately 20 people with an annual net cash burn rate in the range of $5 million once it has completed its transition and related restructuring. Consistent with this new strategy, it plans to rebrand itself as Yield10 Bioscience in the coming months.

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