Avantium at the Alpha Summit Europe 2008 - an article by mergermarket
Avantium Technologies will seek new funds to finance its growth in 2010; acquisitions of new technology companies are a possibility, CEO says mergermarket
Avantium Technologies (Avantium), the privately held Dutch technology company, will take the next step to finance its growth in 2010, chief executive officer Tom van Aken said, talking on the sidelines of the Alpha Summit Europe 2008 in Munich.
Avantium is a leader in high-throughput experimentation and develops high throughput production processes with and for its clients, with a focus on applications in the energy, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries.
At the end of 2007 the company decided to put on hold its planned IPO due to the difficult stock market situation, he explained, adding that the plan will be reconsidered in better market conditions, not likely before 2010. A private placement or partnerships (e.g. co-development partnerships) are interesting alternatives, he added. When asked about the amount of funding the company will seek in 2010, van Aken answered that while it is still uncertain, it could be up to EUR 20m. A trade sale to a chemical, oils or fuel company is also an interesting option, he said. He explained that some companies in the above-mentioned sectors have already shown their interest but would like to see more concrete results before going to the next step.
Acquisitions of companies focused on new technology in the field of clean-tech (e.g. bio-plastics, bio-fuels) will be considered but likely not before 2010, the CEO said, adding that they have received several offers from potential targets. He explained that to finance the acquisitions they will have to rely on the support of the shareholders. The IPO was also planned in order to give the company the possibility of using its own equity as acquisition currency, he commented. Partnerships with technology companies are an alternative, he added.
Avantium has closed at the end of October a financing round for EUR 18m. About EUR 10m will finance the acceleration of the property development programmes and the company will advance its Furanics biofuels and bioplastics program to the next phase (large scale production and car-testing included). In the pharmaceutical programme the plan is to broaden Avantium's pipeline of novel pharmaceutical crystal form to improve existing drugs. The remaining EUR 8m will be used to buy out some existing shareholders, such as MVM, SR One etc, van Aken said. He explained that the current shareholders have a strong commitment to the company development and mentioned that DFJ Esprit has the major stake. Other shareholders are Alpinvest, EDB Investments and Capricorn Venture Partners.
In 2007 Avantium reached revenues of EUR 15m and expects for 2008 a value around EUR 19m. The CEO added that the company has currently 135 employees and expects to hire an additional 20 in 2009.
Avantium was established in 2000 as a spin-off of Shell. The headquarters are in Amsterdam (Holland).