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Avantium acquires full ownership of Synvina from BASF

In the Netherlands, Avantium N.V. has announced that it has retaken full ownership of its YXY plants-to-plastics technology through the purchase of BASF’s shares in the Synvina joint venture. Furthermore, the company has appointed Dr Marcel Lubben as Managing Director of Synvina to lead the commercialization of the YXY technology, effective February 1, 2019.

Dr Marcel Lubben
Avantium has acquired full ownership of its YXY plants-to-plastics technology through the purchase of BASF’s shares in the Synvina joint venture. Furthermore, it has recruited Dr Marcel Lubben as CEO of Synvina effective as of February 1, 2019.

Avantium has regained the intellectual property, people and assets for the YXY technology and has paid BASF EUR 13.7 million for its equity stake in Synvina, as agreed in the Joint Venture Agreement. A net payment of EUR 3.7 million was made for full ownership of the assets acquired by Synvina in the last two years.

Avantium is redefining the path to commercialization for its YXY technology, which it developed to catalytically convert plant-based sugars into FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) and materials such as the new plant-based packaging material PEF (polyethylenefuranoate).

According to Avantium, PEF can fulfil the demand of leading brands and consumers for next-generation materials that are environmentally friendly and recyclable and has the potential to be a game changer in the circular economy. Avantium plans to make further announcements on its new strategy to commercialize YXY during the first half of 2019.

Recruit from Reverdia

Experienced chemicals and biotech executive Dr Marcel Lubben is appointed Managing Director of Synvina and will join Victor Vreeken, COO and Willem-Jan Meijer, Financial Director in Synvina’s leadership team.

Our belief in YXY and its market potential is rock-solid. Producing FDCA and PEF is a complex innovation process that requires a completely new value chain. I am convinced that the work done so far and the value chain we have built will spur the commercialization of PEF. We have the people, ambition and expertise to bring FDCA and PEF successfully to market, and are very pleased Marcel Lubben will strengthen the team to spearhead this, said Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium.

Lubben worked for 25 years at DSM in various senior business roles, in licensing, corporate venture capital and technology. In his previous role, he was president of compatriot biotechnology developer Reverdia, a joint venture between DSM and Roquette for the production and sale of bio-based succinic acid.

Synvina has become a new business unit of Avantium, alongside the existing Catalysis and Renewable Chemistries business units. Avantium’s renewable chemistry programs include “Dawn” technology, which converts non-food feedstock to industrial sugars and lignin, and the “Mekong” technology, which transforms sugars into plant-based mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) used in the production of materials including renewable plastics and polyesters.

Green, innovative materials are essential elements in the global transition to a circular economy. I have been following the progress on YXY for several years and am impressed by how it has been built out to a platform for unique materials with significant performance benefits. I am delighted to assume leadership of this Avantium business unit and bring this important technology to market, ended Dr Marcel Lubben, new Managing Director of Synvina.

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