Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 13:20 EDT

NatureWorks and BioAmber Form Joint Venture to Commercialize New Bio-based Polymers

February 16, 2012

Two industry-leading companies join forces to expand the range of low
carbon-footprint, high-performance, bio-based polymers

MINNETONKA and PLYMOUTH, MN, Feb. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – NatureWorks,
the bio-plastics market leader with its commercial range of Ingeo(TM)
biopolymers, and BioAmber, a next-generation chemicals company and a
market leader in the commercialization of bio-succinic acid, have
announced the creation of AmberWorks, a joint venture to bring new
performance bio-based polymer compositions to market.

The joint venture builds on the natural synergy that exists between
NatureWorks and BioAmber. Beyond its Ingeo PLA technology platform,
NatureWorks brings to the joint venture a global commercial presence,
established customer relationships, developed applications across a
breadth of industries and deep experience in commercializing
new-to-the-world polymers. BioAmber owns PLA/PBS compounding
intellectual property and applies award-winning biotechnology and
chemical processing to produce renewable chemicals. These renewable
chemicals deliver high-performance, low-carbon-footprint building
blocks that are cost competitive with their petrochemical equivalents.
The joint venture combines the best of both companies into an entity
tasked with developing a new family of bio-based compounded polymer

With the formation of the joint venture, NatureWorks plans to
commercialize a new family of compounded Ingeo resin grades, and is
immediately offering samples of developmental grades aimed at
thermoforming and injection-molding processes. This new family of
developmental Ingeo compounded resins is designed for food service ware
applications, expanding the Ingeo property range in terms of
flexibility, toughness, heat resistance, and drop-in processability on
existing manufacturing equipment. Based on market interest, further
formulated solutions optimized for a number of different applications
beyond food service will be assessed over the coming 12 to 24 months.

Compounded PLA/PBS resin grades, developed and manufactured by
AmberWorks, will be marketed exclusively through the NatureWorks global
commercial organization as new and distinct solutions within the
company’s Ingeo portfolio of products.

“The new product range being developed by the joint venture enables
NatureWorks to broaden its existing product portfolio, allowing for
bio-based product solutions in applications that were previously
difficult to address,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and chief
executive officer, NatureWorks. “The properties of PLA and PBS are
complementary and making Ingeo compounds using both materials will
result in a broad and attractive property profile for a number of
different applications.”

“The AmberWorks JV builds on BioAmber’s core business: the production of
cost competitive, renewable chemicals that include succinic acid and
1,4-butanediol,” said Jean-Francois Huc, president and chief executive
officer, BioAmber. “Our novel PBS compounding technology has enabled us
to forward integrate into polymers and our partnership with
NatureWorks, the global market leader in biopolymers, will strengthen
and accelerate market access for our growing portfolio of renewable

In the USA, developmental samples of the new Ingeo injection molding and
thermoforming solutions for the food service industry are available
from NatureWorks, www.natureworksllc.com, 800-664-6436, info@natureworksllc.com. While an assessment of the European Union chemical regulation REACH
status is underway, research and development samples are available in
Europe at NatureWorks Europe, +31 (35) 694 5056. The regulatory status
of these grades in other geographies is under review.


About NatureWorks
NatureWorks LLC is a company dedicated to meeting the world’s needs
today without compromising the earth’s ability to meet the needs of
tomorrow. NatureWorks LLC is the first company to offer a family of
commercially available, low-carbon-footprint Ingeo biopolymers derived
from 100 percent annually renewable resources with performance and
economics that compete with oil-based plastics and fibers. In October
2011, Thailand’s largest chemical producer, PTT Chemical Public Company
Limited, entered into an agreement to make a $150 million equity
investment in NatureWorks. The transaction remains subject to
regulatory clearances. For more information on NatureWorks and Ingeo,
visit www.natureworksllc.com.

Ingeo(TM) and the Ingeo(TM) logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of
NatureWorks LLC in the USA and other countries.

About BioAmber
BioAmber is a next generation chemicals company. Its proprietary
technology platform combines industrial biotechnology, an innovative
purification process and chemical catalysis to convert renewable
feedstocks into chemicals for use in a wide variety of everyday
products, including plastics, food additives and personal care
products. BioAmber produces bio-succinic acid in what it believes to be
one of the world’s largest bio-based chemical fermenters. For more
information visit the company’s web site at www.bio-amber.com.


Source: PR Newswire