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chapter 11

Amyris enters Chapter 11

Amyris and some of its US domestic subsidiaries have begun voluntary Chapter 11 proceedings in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware as part of an operational and financial restructuring. This process does not affect its subsidiaries outside the USA.

“The restructuring is intended to improve the company’s cost structure, capital structure and liquidity position while streamlining Amyris’ business portfolio to focus on its core competencies in R&D and the scale-up, commercialisation and applications development of its sustainable ingredients derived through biofermentation,” the company stated.

Amyris has secured $190 million of debtor-in-possession financing from Foris Ventures to continue day-to-day operations and fulfil commitments to employees, customers, partners and vendors during the process. As part of the transition into Chapter 11, it has also filed the customary first day motions enabling it to do so.

Based in California, the company is active in synthetic biotechnology, particularly for personal care applications, via its Lab-to-Market technology platform. It intends to sell off its consumer brands and have them continue to use its technology under new ownership, while focusing on marketing the technology.

The brands Amyris owns include Rose Inc., model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s makeup and skin care line; JVN, a hair care line by Jonathan Van Ness; actress Naomi Watts’ menopause treatment, Stripes; and, Costa Brazil, a skin care line by former Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa. Some regard this as confirmation that the age of celebrity endorsement in cosmetics is over.

Earlier this year, Amyris sold a sugarcane-derived squalane ingredient it had developed to Givaudan, along with the rest of its portfolio of cosmetic ingredients. These were said to be worth about $30 million/year to Givaudan’s top line. In June, the company hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to help with a $250 million cost-cutting drive and it subsequently announced plans to cut an undisclosed number of jobs. Almost immediately after, John Melo left his post as CEO, which is being covered in the interim by CFO Han Kieftenbeld.

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