Stora Enso has acquired 100% of the shares of the US-based company Virdia, a developer of extraction and separation technologies for conversion of cellulosic biomass into refined sugars and lignin.
The transaction is approximately $33m with additional potential payouts of about $29m following completion of specific technical and commercial milestones by 2017.
“This acquisition is in line with our strategy of growing in bio-based chemicals and ingredients, building on cost-effective, non-food-competing raw materials,” said Juan Carlos Bueno, EVP, Stora Enso Biomaterials.
“These products will contribute to a more sustainable future by replacing fossil-based materials in various applications with renewable and cost-effective choices.
“We are now investing in a new technology platform that will enable us to reach new industries and value chains, and create significant sustainable profit growth for our company.”
The acquisition of Virdia supports the vision of Stora Enso’s Biomaterials Division in becoming a significant player in biochemicals and biomaterials.
The technology enables more efficient extraction of different fractions of the biomass, allowing the possibility to develop and commercialise renewable solutions to address well-identified market-driven needs.
This is a new step in implementing the Division’s strategy, following the recent lignin extraction investment at Sunila Mill in Finland.
Founded in 2007, Virdia is a private, venture-capital-backed company. It runs a pilot facility in Danville, Virginia, US.