Renewable Energy Group Enters Industrial Biotech with Acquisition of LS9
Expansion Provides REG with Renewable Chemicals Platform
(AMES, IA) January 22, 2014 — Renewable Energy Group, Inc.® (NASDAQ: REGI) today announced it has acquired leading renewable chemical technology developer LS9, Inc. for a purchase price of up to $61.5 million, consisting of up front and earnout payments, in stock and cash. Most of the LS9 team, including the entire R&D leadership group, will join the newly named REG Life Sciences, LLC, which will operate out of LS9’s headquarters in South San Francisco, CA.
“This acquisition is a major step in realizing REG’s strategy to expand into the production of renewable chemicals and other products,” said Daniel J. Oh, Renewable Energy Group President and CEO. “The industrial biotechnology platform and robust patent portfolio LS9 has been building will now be combined with REG’s proven production and commercialization capabilities to accelerate the commercial introduction of renewable chemicals to meet increasing customer demand for sustainable products.”
LS9’s proprietary technologies harness the efficiency of the fatty acid metabolic pathway of microorganisms and are expected to make a wide range of renewable chemicals for large, diverse markets such as detergents and personal care, as well as renewable fuels. LS9’s technology platform can utilize diverse feedstocks including conventional corn and cane sugars, low-cost crude glycerin from biodiesel production, and cellulosic sugars. LS9 is a cornerstone investment for REG Life Sciences, which also plans to develop adjacent and complementary fermentation technologies.
“LS9 is a leader in developing technology for the next generation of chemicals and fuels to be produced from renewable feedstocks rather than petroleum,” said Vinod Khosla, founding partner of Khosla Ventures, an investor in LS9. “REG’s proven capabilities, track record for execution, and access to lower cost feedstock make it an ideal partner to commercialize LS9’s technology.”
Under the terms of the agreement between REG and LS9, REG paid $15.3 million in cash and issued 2.2 million shares of REG common stock (valued at approximately $24.7 million based on a trading average for REG stock) at closing. In addition, REG may pay up to $21.5 million in cash and/or shares of REG common stock consideration for achievement of certain milestones over the next five years related to the development and commercialization of products from LS9’s technology.
REG, headquartered in Ames, Iowa, owns and operates eight active biodiesel refineries in four states with a combined nameplate production capacity of 257 million gallons and distributes biodiesel through a national network of distribution terminals, distributors and customers.
LS9, Inc. is a technology leader in the commercial development of a growing portfolio of sustainable products to meet the needs of chemical and fuel markets worldwide since 2005. In 2010, LS9 was awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's highest environmental honor for its revolutionary technology. The company owns and operates a demonstration production facility in Okeechobee, Florida.
To learn more about REG Life Sciences, visit www.regi.com.
REG will hold a special conference call to discuss this acquisition at 5:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. CT on Wednesday, January 22, 2014. The call will be hosted by Daniel J. Oh, President and Chief Executive Officer of REG, and Chad Stone, Chief Financial Officer of REG. Listeners may access the call by dialing 1-877-407-3982 for U.S. domestic callers or 1-201-493-6780 for international callers. A simultaneous live webcast will be available on the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at http://investor.regi.com/. The webcast will be archived on the website for one year. A replay of the call will be available through January 29, 2014. Listeners may access the replay by dialing 1-877-870-5176 for U.S. domestic callers or 1-858-384-5517for international callers, access code: 13574702.
About Renewable Energy Group
Renewable Energy Group® is a leading North American biodiesel producer with a nationwide distribution and logistics system. Utilizing an integrated value chain model, Renewable Energy Group is focused on converting natural fats, oils and greases into advanced biofuels and on converting diverse feedstocks into renewable chemicals. With 257 million gallons of owned/operated annual nameplate production capacity at biorefineries across the country, REG is a proven biodiesel partner in the distillate marketplace.
For more than a decade, REG has been a reliable supplier of biodiesel which meets or exceeds ASTM quality specifications. REG sells REG-9000® biodiesel to distributors so Americans can have cleaner burning fuels that help diversify the energy complex and increase energy security. REG-9000 branded biodiesel is distributed in most states in the U.S.
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including statements regarding REG’s plans to use LS9’s technology platform to develop and commercially introduce renewable chemicals and other products. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections that are subject to change, and actual results may differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, whether REG will be able to use the LS9 platform to produce chemicals and other products on a commercial scale, REG’s ability to produce such products at a competitive cost, customer acceptance of renewable chemicals and other products produced by REG using this technology, REG’s ability to retain and attract the highly skilled staff required to advance the technology, REG’s ability to utilize the acquired patents and obtain any licenses that may be necessary for the commercial production of products from the acquired technology, and other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in REG's annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other periodic filings with the SEC. The forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and REG does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements based on new developments or changes in expectations.