PHA manufacturer Danimer Scientific has completed its previously announced business combination with Live Oak Acquisition Corp., a publicly-traded blank check shell corporation also known as a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company. The transaction was unanimously approved by the board of directors of Live Oak and was approved at a special meeting of Live Oak stockholders on December 28, 2020.
The newly formed company, called Danimer Scientific, Inc. started trading under the ticker symbol “DNMR” on the New York Stock Exchange beginning Dec. 30, 2020.
Danimer Scientific has developed and produces Nodax PHA, a 100 percent biodegradable, renewable, and sustainable plastic produced using canola oil as a primary feedstock. Its PHA was also the first to be certified as marine biodegradable.
The company manufactures its Nodax PHA material at a production facility that opened in 2020 in Winchester, Kentucky. The plant, with an annual capacity of some 10,000 metric tons, is completely sold out, said Danimer. The company will therefore be using the cash provided by the current transaction — approximately $380 million — among others to expand the facility in Kentucky and to build a new greenfield facility, as more capacity is needed to meet the expected current and long-term demand of its customer base.
Danimer Scientific has already partnered with key manufacturers and consumer products companies such as PepsiCo, Nestlé, Bacardi, Genpak, WinCup, Columbia Packaging Group, Kemira and Plastic Suppliers Inc. as they introduce more sustainable alternatives to straws, food and beverage containers, and flexible packaging.
“These are companies who expect us to grow our capacity, which meant that we had to find a lot of cash fast — which is what we did,” said Stephen E. Croskrey, CEO of Danimer Scientific. He explained the company’s decision to go public through a SPAC during a CNBC television interview on Dec. 30, 2020. The company’s increased capital base will now allow it to significantly increase its production capacity.
The new, combined Danimer Scientific will continue to be led by Stephen Croskrey. In addition to serving as Chief Executive Officer of Danimer Scientific, Croskrey has been named Chairman of the Board. Rick Hendrix, Chief Executive Officer of Live Oak, has joined Danimer Scientific’s Board, and John Amboian, Non-Executive Chairman of Live Oak, has joined the Board as Lead Independent Director.