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Avantium raises funds to develop next generation green materials
Jun '11
Avantium is proud to announce that it has successfully raised EUR 30 million to advance its breakthrough YXY technology for green building blocks. Avantium will use the funds for the construction and operation of its pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, and for the development of green materials on basis of these YXY building blocks.

Avantium has completed a EUR 25 million financing round with new investors Sofinnova Partners, Aster Capital and De Hoge Dennen as well as existing investors Aescap Venture, Capricorn Cleantech Fund, ING Corporate Investments and Navitas Capital. In addition Avantium has secured a subsidy and innovation credit, in total EUR 5 million, from the Dutch Ministry of Economy, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I). Part of the funding has been used to buy out shares held by DFJ Esprit, AlpInvest, Eastman, EDBI and Pfizer, aligning the company's shareholder base with its strategy.

Next generation green materials

Avantium is building a pilot plant to demonstrate its YXY technology which enables the cost effective production of Furanics building blocks for green materials and fuels. The pilot plant will also be able to produce larger volumes of YXY building blocks for application development of new, green plastics, chemicals and materials. This will facilitate the development and commercialization of Avantium's next-generation polyester: PEF. PEF is a new to the world polymer that can be made out of plant material instead of oil. Avantium expects that PEF will become the green material to replace petroleum based polyesters such as PET.

Avantium has demonstrated that PEF has numerous superior properties when compared with PET, including lower permeability of oxygen, carbon-dioxide and water and an enhanced ability to withstand heat. The YXY technology makes it possible to produce a 100% biobased, 100% recyclable polyester that can compete on price and performance with traditional materials such as PET. Avantium is actively working on the development of PEF bottles for beverages, food, cosmetic products and detergents. In parallel, Avantium is developing both PEF fibers, used for textiles and carpets, as well as other materials based on of its YXY building blocks, such as polyamides and coatings.

Overwhelming interest

Tom van Aken, Chief Executive Officer of Avantium, said: "We are privileged to welcome Sofinnova, Aster and De Hoge Dennen as new investors as we look to scale and commercialize our YXY technology. The strong support of our current shareholders and our ability to attract such reputable investors validate the potential of our technology and products.

"We are experiencing an overwhelming interest from consumer goods and industrial companies who wish to use our YXY building blocks for a broad range of applications, including PEF bottles for water, soft drinks and beer, PEF fibers for apparel and carpets, and engineering plastics for automotive and electronic materials. This funding will allow us to prove our process on a larger scale and to do application testing in collaboration with brand owners and industrial partners. We are also proud to have secured the support of the Dutch Ministry of EL&I for Avantium as part of their active promotion of the transition to a biobased economy."

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