Category Archives: Amyris, Inc.

Amyris shares bounce back a bit on stock sale


After dropping bad news after Friday’s market close, Amyris dropped some positive news today before market opening, sending the stock briefly up to $2, before dropping to $1.83 at market close.

Today’s close was 26 cents above the record low set Thursday.

The good news was that the company managed to sell $4.1 million worth of stock, presumably the same shares Fidelity agreed to buy in February, then declined to consummate earlier this month

The details from the company’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission:

On May 18, 2012, Amyris, Inc. (the “Company”) sold 1,736,100 shares of its common stock in a private placement to certain non-employee directors and related parties for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $4.1 million (the “Placement”). The Placement was completed pursuant to a series of Common Stock Purchase Agreements, each dated May 18, 2012 (the “Purchase Agreements”), which the Company entered into with the following purchasers: Ralph Alexander, Foris Ventures, LLC (an entity affiliated with John Doerr), Arthur Levinson, Naxyris SA (an affiliate of NAXOS Capital Partners, of which Carole Piwnica serves as a director), and Patrick Pichette. The per share purchase and sale price for the shares of Common Stock purchased in the Private Placement was $2.36, the book value per share of the Company’s common stock, as determined in accordance with the corporate governance rules of The NASDAQ Stock Market.

Before the sale, Doerr, a partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers [KPCB], controlling 3.7 million shares. A major player in so-called green tech investment, KPCB includes among its partners former Vice President Al Gore.

A record low closing for Amyris; loan problems?


Shares closed today at $1.59, the lowest end-of-market-day closing price ever and only two cents above the record low ever recorded during a trading day.

Amyris also dropped another end-of-the-day filing on the Securities and Exchange Commission, extending a bridge loan because anticipated funding from a Brazilian government development bank still hasn’t materialized.

Here’s the contents of the form 8-K filing:

This Current Report on Form 8-K is being filed by Amyris, Inc. (the “Company”) to disclose a further extension of the maturity date for the Banco Pine S.A. bridge loan disclosed in the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed on December 28, 2011. As background, on December 22, 2011, effective December 21, 2011, Amyris Brasil Ltda. (“AB”), a Brazilian subsidiary of the Company, entered into a loan agreement with Banco Pine S.A. (the “Lender”) under which the Lender provided AB with a short term loan of R$35,000,000 (approximately US$17.5 million based on the exchange rate as of May 17, 2012) with a maturity date of February 17, 2012. The bridge loan was an advance on anticipated 2012 financing from Nossa Caixa Desenvolvimento, the Sao Paulo State development bank, and Lender, under which such banks may provide AB with loans of up to approximately R$52 million as financing for capital expenditures relating to the Company’s manufacturing facility at Paraíso Bioenergia S.A. in Brazil. On February 17, 2012, AB entered into a supplemental agreement to extend the maturity date for the bridge loan from February 17, 2012 to May 17, 2012.

On May 17, 2012, AB entered into a further supplemental agreement (the “Supplement”) with the Lender under which the parties agreed to extend the maturity date for the repayment of the loan from May 17, 2012 to August 15, 2012. Under the Supplement, in connection with the extension, AB is obligated to pay R$129,150 (approximately US$65,000 based on the exchange rate as of May 17, 2012) as tax on the financial transaction as required by Brazilian law.

Amyris plunges to yet another record low, $1.64


UPDATE III: Lowest-ever closing price of $1.58, a penny up for today’s all-time low.

UPDATE II: $1.57.

UPDATE: Make that $1.60.

The steady downward spiral continues for the stock of Amyris, launched by UC Berkeley bioengineer Jay Keasling with bucks from Bill Gates.

Shares of the Emeryville company traded at $33.85 fourteen months ago when its promises to produce cost effective mass quantities of fuels derived from plant fiber by genetically engineered microbes were much ballyhooed by the press and UC Berkeley praised the company as an archetype of the start-up enterprises the university would spawn to solve the world’s problems and revitalize the local economy.

But with the cost of diesel production at $29 a gallon and their Brazilian refinery plagued by contamination woes, the company has proven a nightmare for small investors who believed the hype.

Should the stock plunge below a dollar, the company could be yanked from the NASDAQ stock exchange. . .

Surprise, surprise: Amyris hits yet another new low


Just a penny less than yesterday’s new record low, with shares reaching $1.85 in early trading today.

That’s exactly $32 less per share than just 14 months ago. Not a good sign for the UC Berkeley-spawned genetic engineering company started with funds from Bill Gates.

UPDATE: Down more  to $1.80. If it drops below a dollar, the stock could lose is NASDAQ listing.

UPDATE II: That’s where it closed, after a drop to $1.79, the new record low.

Amyris, the corporate Rodney Dangerfield?


The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield is most famous for a single line:

Once upon a time, the UC Berkeley-spawned, Bill Gates-endowed startup did get more than its share of respect, thanks to the celebrity status of founder and Cal “bioengineer” Jay Keasling, who’s appeared on The Colbert Report and was named Scientist of the Year for 2006 by Discover Magazine.

In 2010, Keasling was confidently declaring that the genetically engineered microbes he’d help develop to turn plant fiber into fuel in the laboratory could be scaled up from the test tube  to refinery scale operations with no problems, ensuring commercial quantities of fuel to stave off the peak oil crisis.

That, of course, has proven a fantasy, with Amyris now paying $29 bucks for every gallon of diesel fuel derived from its patented, genetically engineered microbes.

With losses soaring, the company’s stock has tanked, plunging from a high of $33.85 14 months ago to today’s new record low of $1.86.

The company’s rapid descent toward penny stock levels has thrown a damper on new companies seeking to issue initial public offerings, dubbed “the Amyris effect” by Biofuels Digest editor Jim Lane.

Now comes more news about the company’s toxic impacts on the IPO sector from Kevin Quon of Seeking Alpha in a story about the failed IPO of Enerkem, a much-ballyhooed company which hopes to turn sewage into fuel.

Here’s the money quote, particularly that last sentence:

The implications of the company’s withdrawal from its IPO process casts a long shadow upon the public biofuel space. Similar market condition issues were faced with an IPO of Ceres (CERE), a biofuel crop specialist, which faced delays in its own IPO back in early 2012. Yet the largest ramifications are both reflected by and reflective of the current market conditions of recent biofuel companies that underwent an IPO in the past two years. Companies like Amryis (AMRS), Gevo (GEVO), and Codexis (CDXS) all continue to trade under their IPO prices. For its part, Amryis had even helped contribute to the industry collapse through its inability to scale up its production facilities problem-free.

Read the rest.

Amyris has proven very adept at one process, the reverse of what Enerkem had planned: Turning cash into trash.

Amyris hits another record low, $1.86


For shareholders of the UC Berkeley-spawned genetic engineering company, the news just keeps getting worse.

Follow the downward-bouncing stock here.

Amyris reveals its biodiesel cost: $29 a gallon


That translates to the price of price of 14 shares of the company’s stock, which is probably the reason they’ve been plummeting since the company made the announcement.

As we write, the stock is selling for $2.02, one cent under the morning’s opening trade.

From Kevin Bullis of MIT Technology Review:

Shortly after it was founded, Amyris had set out to make biofuel using genetically modified organisms and simple chemistry to turn sugar into a type of oil that’s similar to diesel. It had some success making bio-derived biodiesel for buses in Brazil. But the chemicals produced by the company’s microörganisms can be used for other things as well, such as moisturizers and fragrances, that sell for higher prices.

[Tuesday] night, the company said the average selling price for all its products is $7.70 per liter, or $29 per gallon, far higher than the price for petroleum-based diesel. (In Brazil, diesel costs about $1 per liter.)

The average price—which is propped up by the price it can charge for moisturizer—is higher than what Amyris sells bio-derived biodiesel for. (It didn’t disclose the exact price for the fuel.) But even $7.70 per liter isn’t enough for the company to break even.

>snip<

Amyris is still producing biodiesel, in limited amounts, the company said last night. It is also still working on joint ventures that could allow it to build large plants for making fuels at some point in the future, but first it will try to make its moisturizer and fragrance business profitable. Meanwhile, it’s looking to raise new money this year, mainly through partnerships and collaboration agreements, to keep itself afloat.

Read the rest.

This isn’t the first time Amyris has failed to deliver on promises of cheap stuff made with GMO bugs.

The corporation was originally created by UC Berkeley bioengineer and serial entrepreneur Jay Keasling with bucks from Bill  Gates to deliver a vastly cheaper version of the antimalarial drug artemisinin.

The bug makes the drug, but at the same price as the kind derived from the wormwood plants [artemisia] farmed by thousands of subsistence farmers in Africa and Asia — and that’s when it’s sold for no profit by Big Pharma’s Sanofi Aventis.

End of Total contract would cost Amyris a fortune

We also discovered a little item buried deep in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a 23 November 2011 amendment to the contract between Amyris and French oil giant Total, their principal corporate partner in developing fuels from Amyris’ genetically modified microbes.

The joint venture agreement ends 31 December 2013, and if Total decides not to renew, Amyris would be left with an obligation to pay the company $150 million.

Here’s the language that caught our eye:

TOTAL Option Upon the Renewable Diesel Project Completion Date

As used herein, “Renewable Diesel Project Completion Date” shall be December 31st, 2013 or any other date as determined by the Management Committee to achieve the End-Project Milestone (as defined in the Renewable Diesel Development Project Plan).

A. For a period of 90 days following the Renewable Diesel Project Completion Date, TOTAL shall have the option, exercisable in its sole discretion, to notify AMYRIS in writing that TOTAL does not wish to pursue the production or commercialization of the Renewable Diesel Product (such option, the “TOTAL Royalty Option”). Provided TOTAL timely notifies AMYRIS of its decision to exercise the TOTAL Royalty Option (such date of notification, the “Royalty Notification Date”), then the following provisions shall apply:

B. Effective as of the Royalty Notification Date, all of TOTAL’s rights in or to any and all Collaboration IP developed during the performance of the Renewable Diesel Development Project Plan (hereinafter, the “Diesel Collaboration IP”) shall terminate and TOTAL shall assign to AMYRIS all right, title and interest of TOTAL in and to Diesel Collaboration IP. TOTAL shall, at AMYRIS’ reasonable expense, execute all documents and take all actions reasonably requested by AMYRIS from time to time to perfect AMYRIS’ title to and ownership thereof. Prior to the Royalty Notification Date, TOTAL shall not assign or transfer to any of its Affiliates or third parties any such right, title and interest so as to ensure that AMYRIS obtains the benefit of this provision.

C. In consideration of the benefits AMYRIS may derive from the technology and intellectual property developed during the Renewable Diesel Development Project and TOTAL’s assignment of its right, title and interest in and to the Diesel Collaboration IP, commencing on the Royalty Notification Date and ending on the date when AMYRIS has paid TOTAL an aggregate amount equal to $150,000,000 (the “Aggregate Royalty Amount”), AMYRIS shall pay TOTAL a royalty of Continue reading