FMC Corporation | June 30, 2022
FMC Corporation an agricultural sciences company, announced a definitive agreement to acquire BioPhero ApS, a Denmark-based pheromone research and production company. The acquisition adds biologically produced state-of-the-art pheromone insect control technology to FMC's product portfolio and R&D pipeline, underscoring FMC's role as a leader in delivering innovative and sustainable crop protection solutions.
BioPhero has pioneered a highly efficient yeast fermentation process for manufacturing pheromones at significantly lower costs and with fewer production steps compared to competitors' traditional chemical synthesis methods. Lower costs expand the pheromone addressable market from today's focus on specialty fruit and vegetables to now include the large row crop market. FMC expects pheromones and pheromone-based products to contribute approximately $1 billion in revenue at above company-average EBITDA margin by 2030.
"This acquisition demonstrates our continuing commitment to invest in biologicals and adjacent technologies, expanding our world-class portfolio while advancing sustainable agriculture," said Mark Douglas, FMC president and chief executive officer. "BioPhero is a pioneer in the production of pheromones through a unique, highly efficient bioprocessing method—a game-changer in pheromone manufacturing technology. FMC's broad market access, leadership position in the high-value insecticide market, formulation know-how and application expertise provide significant opportunities to bring sustainably advantaged pheromone technology to more agricultural markets around the world. We look forward to adding an extensive pheromone platform to our biologicals business and welcoming the BioPhero team to FMC."
"BioPhero is excited by the opportunity to accelerate our development and the road to market with the objective to make pheromones widely available. Given FMC's leadership position in the development of biological plant health products, manufacturing and formulation expertise, and existing operations in Denmark, we believe FMC is an excellent company to take this business forward. FMC's global market access and significant investments in R&D will accelerate our ability to bring highly advanced pheromone insect control technology to growers around the world."
Dr. Irina Borodina, co-founder and chief scientific officer of BioPhero
Pheromones can be used in an integrated pest management program to control the buildup of insect populations in farmers' fields by disrupting the insect mating process, reducing overall egg-laying by adults and decreasing the next generation of the target insect population. Pheromones do not have an impact on the environment, promote biodiversity and do not harm beneficial insects, such as pollinators, since they precisely target specific pests.
"FMC directs 100 percent of its R&D investments to discover and develop more sustainable products," said Dr. Kathleen Shelton, FMC executive vice president and chief technology officer. "We're excited to add BioPhero's innovative pheromone molecules to our new product pipeline, and we expect to launch five new pheromone products over the next three to five years. The opportunities for advanced biomanufacturing technology extend well beyond insect control. Working together, we can significantly expand the use of fermentation technologies across a wider set of crops targeting a variety of pests, including fungi and weeds."
Novo Holding A/S, a world-leading science investor focused on creating long-term value, has supported BioPhero for six years. "Novo Holdings believes that biotechnology is a key component in the transition towards a more sustainable society," said Søren Møller, managing partner at Novo Holdings. "The technology developed by BioPhero is an excellent example of using nature's own pheromones to combat pests in a safe and yet efficient way. Novo Holdings has invested in BioPhero since inception and has renewed its commitment to the company in each financing round. We are very satisfied to see the rapid development of the company, and this sale demonstrates that FMC shares our vision of introducing new sustainable solutions in agriculture."
The purchase price of approximately $200 million will be paid at closing. Following regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the acquisition of BioPhero is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter 2022.
Italmatch Chemicals | June 29, 2022
Italmatch Chemicals, a leading global specialty chemical group focused on the production and marketing of performance additives for the processing and treatment of water, oil & gas, industrial lubricants and plastics, has acquired Aubin Group from BGF, investor of equity capital in the UK and Ireland. Headquartered in Scotland, Aubin is a key strategic developer and supplier of innovative chemical solutions for the oil and gas industry and the renewable energy sector with office and warehouses across the UK and the Middle East.
The acquisition further strengthens Italmatch Chemicals' position in the oil & gas and renewable energy sectors of key strategic markets such as the Middle East, the USA, and the North Sea.
The operation will also expand Italmatch Chemicals' product portfolio with new sustainable solutions, consistent with its ESG strategy. This is a testament to the group's continued commitment to R&D projects dedicated to developing and delivering sustainable solutions for various sectors, including products for renewable energy market as well as "decommissioning" activities.
"The acquisition of Aubin Group represents another step of Italmatch Group's growth strategy in areas of interest, such as the Middle East, and in our journey of sustainability. Our company has always invested in the continuous transformation of its product portfolio, with increasing focus dedicated to sustainable and circular solutions in all the end markets it caters to, including oil & gas. Thanks to its sustainable solutions, Aubin likewise embodies excellence in the renewable energy market. This synergy will further boost our R&D efforts as a Group."
Sergio Iorio, CEO of Italmatch Chemicals Group
"Ever since its foundation 25 years ago, Italmatch has pursued a development strategy focused both on organic growth through research and innovation as well as strategic M&A" said Maurizio Turci, General Manager Corporate and CFO of the Italmatch Chemicals Group. "Now more than ever our focus is on following an approach rooted in ESG principles. Our priority is enhancing our positive impact and creating sustainable value for our clients, employees and all our stakeholders."
"Aubin is a key player in well services and technologies that complement Italmatch's portfolio. The company is also positioned to be at the forefront of the energy transition through its portfolio of innovative technology tailored to solving unique challenges. These include offshore wind developments as well as a disruptive solution to plug disused oil wells even in the harshest conditions, guaranteeing their long-term integrity and reducing their environmental impact" explained Scott Miller, Italmatch's O&G Sales & Marketing Director and recently appointed CEO of Aubin Group. "The acquisition will strengthen Italmatch's position in the Middle East, North Sea, and United States. Moreover, it will bring into the fold a world-class well services business, many highly qualified professionals and a strategically placed headquarters in Aberdeenshire with a well-equipped laboratory" concluded Miller.
Sonoco Products Company | June 27, 2022
The first HolyGrail 2.0 sorting prototype was successfully validated in March this year following semi-industrial trials, using NIR and digital watermarks detection to sort packaging waste with a 99 percent detection rate and the potential to develop new, more granular post-consumer recycling streams.
The Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0, driven by AIM – European Brands Association, and powered by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, has the goal of assessing whether the digital watermarks technology can enable better sorting and higher-quality recycling rates for packaging in the EU. Today, more than 160 partners across the value chain are working together to refine and commercialize this concept. Sonoco, one of the largest global sustainable packaging companies, is a member of the HolyGrail 2.0 initiative to prove the viability of digital watermarking for sorting packaging waste and the business case at scale, likely with global implications.
Trials in Copenhagen found that using digital watermarks on packaging resulted in 98 - 100 percent being correctly detected, with a subsequent total ejection rate of 90 - 100 percent. During the live trial in a mix of five different packaging types of various brands, 96 percent of Sonoco’s rigid paper containers were correctly detected and ejected. This demonstrates an additional approach to sort Sonoco’s EnviroCan™ rigid paper containers into the paper recycling stream.
“At Sonoco, we recognize the critical importance of developing sustainable packaging solutions that will protect and preserve our planet for future generations. We are proud to be a member of the HolyGrail 2.0 initiative and are pleased with this successful trial to further our sustainable packaging portfolio. We are committed to advancing sortation and recycling of packaging of all types.”
Jeff Schuetz, Staff Vice President, Consumer Technology
Imperceptible postage stamp sized, digital watermarks on packaging aim to make it possible to effectively sort the material into specific waste streams. Conventional sorting technologies are not able to reliably identify multi-material packaging, so they can end up in the wrong recycling streams or drop to the refuse stream all together. With this new digital watermarking technology, it becomes possible to separate materials more accurately into distinct streams, even in cases of multi-material packaging. It is even possible to distinguish between packaging coming from food and non-food applications, which becomes increasingly important for the use of recycled material in new packaging. With the trials in Copenhagen, Sonoco can show high compatibility of its rigid paper containers using this technology across all sizes and material specifications.
Founded in 1899, Sonoco is a global provider of consumer, industrial, healthcare and protective packaging. With net sales of approximately $5.6 billion in 2021, the Company has approximately 22,000 employees working in more than 300 operations in 32 countries, serving some of the world’s best-known brands in some 85 nations. Sonoco is committed to creating sustainable products, services and programs for its customers, employees and communities that support our corporate purpose of Better Packaging. Better Life. The Company ranked first in the Packaging sector on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies for 2022 as well as being included in Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies for the third consecutive year.