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Iogen to shed processing enzyme business

Ottawa biotech firm Iogen Corp. plans to tighten its focus on cellulosic ethanol by shedding its other business, making and selling enzymes for brewers, grain processors, feed millers and other industries.

Danish industrial enzyme maker Novozymes plans to buy Iogen’s industrial enzyme business, Iogen Bio-Products, for $67.5 million plus up to $12.5 million in "earn-out" payments (that is, potential payments based on Iogen Bio-Products’ future earnings).

Novozymes, in this deal, gets "all commercial rights to Iogen Bio-Products’ existing product portfolio, pipeline, facilities and know-how," Iogen said in a release, adding that process technology assets relating to Iogen’s biofuels business are not included.

Iogen Bio-Products’ brands include Ultimase, a series of cellulase enzymes designed to improve yields and quality and "maximize throughput" in both grain processing and commercial brewing, and Roxazyme G2, a non-starch polysaccharide enzyme made exclusively for Swiss firm Royal DSM to improve efficiency in animal feed.

Iogen Bio-Products, which has been in business since 1991, also makes and sells enzymes for use in the pulp and paper and textile industries and has a total portfolio of over 20 products.

All 70 employees will continue to work in Ottawa at the company’s enzyme manufacturing facility, Iogen said in its release.

"We are pleased that Novozymes will continue to develop the business, creating new opportunities for our employees and new solutions for our customers" Iogen Corp. CEO Brian Foody said in a release.

Iogen, he added, "will now concentrate its efforts on developing commercial opportunities for second-generation and advanced biofuels around the world."

Specifically, Foody noted Iogen’s project with Brazilian ethanol producer Raizen to develop a commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in that country.

The sale of the Iogen Bio-Products business to Novozymes is expected to close later this month, Novozymes said, pending "finalization of corporate formalities."

Related stories:
Ethanol maker Iogen to gauge investor interest, Sept. 15, 2010
Shell scrubs plans for Man. straw ethanol plant, April 30, 2012

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