BioAmber Files for Chapter 11 in USA and Canada

  • BioAmber Files for Chapter 11 in USA and Canada (c) Erce/ShutterstockBioAmber Files for Chapter 11 in USA and Canada (c) Erce/Shutterstock

Canadian sustainable chemicals company BioAmber has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US under Chapter 11. The company has also filed a notice of intention to make a proposal under Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act for its two subsidiaries, BioAmber Sarnia and BioAmber Canada.

BioAmber said the moves were aimed at strengthening its financial health and solidifying its long-term business prospects as the filings would protect it and its subsidiaries from creditors’ claims while it restructured.

"This process will provide BioAmber with the time and stability to restructure its finances. This restructuring, combined with the significantly improved cost structure we anticipate, will position BioAmber to emerge as a much stronger company which will be better positioned to meet the growing global demand we see for our product," said Richard Eno, BioAmber’s CEO.

BioAmber opened its first commercial-scale plant in Sarnia in 2015, producing bio-based succinic acid based on sugars. The company said if it fails to achieve its financing and restructuring goals, it will likely be forced to cease operations and liquidate its assets.

UK professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed as the trustee in the proposal proceedings of both the Canadian subsidiaries and will monitor and assist the restructuring effort.

BioAmber was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange on Feb. 16. The month before, its Sarnia subsidiary had restructured its credit facility with its senior lending syndicate and agreed to present a recapitalization plan by Mar. 15.

The company is said to have up to 99 creditors, including Cargill, which has the largest unsecured claim at $500,000. Japan’s Mitsui & Co. and Dutch biomaterials producer Reverdia also have unsecured claims amounting to $50,000 and $25,000 respectively. Mitsui spent CDN$25 million in 2016 to buy another 10% share in BioAmber Sarnia, taking its equity stake to 40%.

In January 2016, Reverdia and BioAmber signed a non-assert agreement with regard to intellectual property rights for bio-succinic acid.

Under terms of the deal, Reverdia agreed not to pursue IP claims against BioAmber in exchange for an undisclosed fee.

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