Evonik to buy Metex technology for fermentative production of methionine


Germany-based specialty chemicals group Evonik Industries has agreed to purchase a technology package from French industrial biochemistry company Metex EXplorer for fermentative production of methionine.

The €45m deal features Metex’s entire technology portfolio for the fermentative production of methionine, as well as patents, essential bacteria strains, and inoLa brand.

Subject to approval from the Evonik committees, the deal aims to boost the company’s biotechnology platform for amino acids.

In addition, the deal will improve Metex’s ability to commercialise other technologies that it has developed as alternatives to chemical processes.

The deal further also a back licence agreement relating to certain patents transferred to Evonik and a two-year transfer service agreement.

"The acquisition of this technology will expand our technological leadership for amino acids produced both chemically and by fermentation."

Evonik animal nutrition business line head Dr Emmanuel Auer said: “Through its fermentative methionine production process, METEX has demonstrated excellent development work and was able to secure wide-ranging patent protection.

“The acquisition of this technology will expand our technological leadership for amino acids produced both chemically and by fermentation.”

In addition, both companies aim to explore the possibility of a research and development cooperation agreement on the development of biotechnologically produced amino acids.

Metex EXplorer CEO Benjamin Gonzalez said: “We have been able to show that the fermentation process for manufacturing methionine is a potential alternative to familiar manufacturing routes. For all of the company’s stakeholders, this is a validation of our technical leadership.

“Proceeds from the sale will accelerate our ability to further develop and market our other technologies, such as PDO, MPG, or new high-value-added molecules.

“The technology will be transferred to Evonik immediately after the required approval of Evonik committees. This is expected before mid-December 2016.”

Evonik noted that amino acids produced by fermentation are an important part of its product portfolio for sustainable animal nutrition.