After languishing in limbo since 2019, the assets of the bankrupt Italian polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) manufacturer Bio-on SpA are now in the process of being acquired by the Turin, Italy headquartered Maip Group.
Maip submitted a proposal for a bankruptcy arrangement that has been approved by the Court of Bologna, Italy.
Maip created a new company called Haruki specifically for this purpose, the company said, although it has not ruled out that in the future it will revert to the name Bio-On.
Maip Compounding would own 75 percent of Haruki with Plastotecnica holding the other 25 percent. Maip will receive starting assets of about 20 million rutod to guarantee the execution of the composition proposal and to allow the full restart of operations of the Castel San Pietro facility.
Both Maip Compounding and Plastotecnica are Maip Group member companies.
Maip Group has formulated a five-year plan aimed at a swift relaunch of Bio-on’s PHA production, based on the proprietary technology developed by Bio-on that uses agricultural waste or agro-industrial by-products, such as sugar cane, beet, glycerol from biodiesel as feedstock.
The company sees considerable synergies resulting from the deal. It has been researching the potential of PHA for 12 years, and already produces its own IamNature PHA-based compounds. which the company customizes for individual customers. Over the years, these have included ABB — the company won the Bioplastics Award in 2018 for its Mylos Ethic recyclable wiring accessories cover frame made from an IamNature compound — as well as seating and table designers Andreu World.
Maip is also working with SIS and Flexgrass, the world's leading company for top quality sports pitches, on the development of the first football pitches made with IamNature biofiber.
The present deal and relaunch of Bio-on will give it access to its own supply of PHA resin for the production of these compounds.
Bio-based materials, said the company, are expected to show very robust growth in the next 30 years , with the market for PHA, in particular, to show significant development globally in the next 5 years.
“Our goal is to offer the market an excellent portfolio of unique and innovative materials with few equals worldwide; it will rely on over 500 formulations based on [PHA], in powder and granules,” said Eligio Martini, Maip Group chairman.
The company must first take possession of the plants and complete all technical evaluations, but the aim is to achieve this within a ‘short time frame’.
“To ensure the success of the operation, we asked Marco Astorri to collaborate with us as we believe that his experience and skills are absolutely critical for the relaunch of Bio-On,” Eligio added. Founder and former CEO of Bio-on, Astorri will be supporting the venture on a consulting basis.
"Thanks to this deal and the important synergies it allows, Maip Group, expands its value chain and accelerates the production of sustainable products with high technological value,” he concluded.