Stora Enso acquires US biotech firm

Finnish pulp and paper manufacturer Stora Enso has acquired 100% of the shares of the US-based company Virdia, a developer of extraction and separation technologies for conversion of cellulosic biomass into highly refined sugars and lignin.

The transaction is valued at $33 million (€24 million), with additional potential payouts totalling approximately $29 million following completion of specific technical and commercial milestones by 2017.

In a statement, Stora Enso said the acquisition of Virdia supports the vision of its biomaterials division in becoming a significant player in biochemicals and biomaterials.

The technology enables more efficient extraction of different valuable fractions of the biomass, allowing the possibility to develop and commercialise cost-effective renewable solutions to address well-identified market-driven needs.

'This acquisition is in line with our strategy of growing in bio-based chemicals, ingredients and solutions, building on cost-effective, non-food-competing raw materials,' comments Stora Enso Biomaterials executive VP Juan Carlos Bueno. 'These solutions will contribute to a more sustainable future by replacing fossil-based materials in various applications with renewable and cost-effective choices. We are now investing in a new technology platform that will enable us to reach new industries and value chains, and create significant sustainable profit growth for our company.'

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