Amyris selling off U.S. ethanol distribution arm

The announcement was contained in a filing with the Security and Exchange Commission reporting a change in a 2008 agreement between the Emeryville-based genetic engineering company and French bank BNP Paribas, which had extended a line of credit to the company founded by UC Berkeley bioengineer Jay Keasling.

Here’s the key sentence:

The Company and AFL entered into the Amendment to extend the maturity date pending the Company’s transition out of the AFL business, and plan to repay all amounts remaining outstanding under the Credit Agreement, and to terminate the Credit Agreement, as of the new maturity date.

AFL is Amyris Fuels LLC, described this way in the company’s 2011 annual report:

Amyris Fuels was established to help us develop fuel distribution capabilities in the U.S. Amyris Fuels currently generates revenue from the sale of ethanol and reformulated ethanol-blended gasoline to wholesale customers through a network of terminals in the eastern U.S.

The move doesn’t impact Amyris’s plants to eventually produce other fuels in significant quantities, though the company’s only commercial success thus far has been in the production of chemicals for the cosmetics industry.

The company’s stock rebounded slightly today from last week’s record low of $2.92, closing trading Monday at $3.04.

Amyris was started with cash from Bill Gates to produce a cheap anti-malarial drug, though the final product will sell for about the same price as the existing version, derived from wormwood plant farms that support thousands of Third World farmers.

Company founder Keasling long ago abandoned ship, and has already started a new company to rival Amyris.

Even with today’s recovery, Amyris shares are selling for less than a tenth of what they commanded at last year’s high.


3 responses to “Amyris selling off U.S. ethanol distribution arm

  1. Isabel Welby

    disappointed in Amyris shares – maybe I should sell them

  2. Pingback: Amyris selling off U.S. ethanol distribution arm | Climate Connections

  3. Selling ethanol was John Melo’s idea to build up their distribution pipeline for biofuel. As a former employee, I know he touted this as a “revolutionary” business approach. The long over due “revolutionary” action is to finally oust him.

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