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Biopolymer maker BioAmber raises $80 million in IPO

By: Frank Esposito

May 17, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — Sustainable chemical maker BioAmber Inc. raised $80 million in an initial public offering of its stock on May 10.

But the firm already is getting a taste of life as a public company, as its per-share stock price fell from $10 to $8 in its first five days of trading. Minneapolis-based BioAmber produces bio-based succinic acid, which is a feedstock for bio-based polybutylene succinic polymers.

BioAmber has operated a plant in Pomacle, France, since early 2010. The firm also plans to build a $125 million plant with almost 70 million pounds of capacity in Sarnia, Ontario, through a joint venture with Japanese plastics and chemicals maker Mitsui & Co. Ltd. That plant is expected to open in 2014 and will be co-located with facilities operated by German materials firm Lanxess. Both Mitsui and Lanxess are investors in BioAmber.

In the first quarter of 2013, BioAmber posted sales of about $330,000, down 13 percent from the same quarter in 2012. The firm also posted a loss of $9.6 million for the quarter after losing $10.1 million in the year-ago period.