Algae ingredient company TerraVia looking for buyers

[USA] TerraVia is engaged with strategic and financial parties that could result in a sale of all, substantially all or a portion of the company, the plant-based food, nutrition and specialty ingredients company said May 3. South San Francisco-based TerraVia, which works with algae to create ingredients, plans to restructure its debt.

TerraVia on May 3 filed a form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying the company had entered into a two-month forbearance agreement with more than 65% of its 2019 convertible debt holders, Apurva S. Mody, chief executive officer and director of TerraVia, said in a May 3 earnings call. The form 8-K may be found here.

“Based on the recommendation of our advisers, we have elected to not make the interest coupon payment prior to the end of the grace period and are targeting to reach an agreement with our debt holders by the end of the month,” he said.

Mr. Mody said he could not provide any assurances on the timing or the scope of any potential transactions.

“I do want to be clear that as we pursue this path, our business is operating, and we are very focused on delivering on our commitments to customers and partners,” he said. “As we work through this process, our focus is on realizing the promise of our groundbreaking technology platform and assuring a path forward for our innovative products, which are demonstrating their potential in the marketplace.”

TerraVia on May 3 reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31. A net loss of $22,587,000 compared with a net loss of $26,512,000 in the previous year’s first quarter. Total revenues of $4,519,000 were down 8% from $4,888,000 in the previous year’s first quarter.

Excluding intercompany transactions, revenues from the 50.1%-owned unconsolidated SB Oils joint venture with Bunge were $2.9 million for the first quarter, which compared with $1.1 million in the first quarter of the previous year.

“We are on track against all of our commercial and operational goals for the first quarter and for the full year,” Mr. Mody said. “We achieved our guidance for year-over-year revenue growth at SB Oils in Q1 and are tracking with our plans for the year.”

TerraVia in the first quarter received a “no questions” letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status for AlgaWise algae butter, which will be produced by SB Oils. Bunge North America, St. Louis, will market algae butter in the United States. The palm-free, non-hydrogenated ingredient has been shown to work in baked foods, spreads and confectionery items.

“We expect to commercially launch this product with our partner Bunge in early 2018,” Mr. Mody said. “We’ve already successfully scaled the product and have a number of strategic customers working on market applications today.”

TerraVia continues to expect product revenue to shift into the SB Oils joint venture, said Tyler W. Painter, chief financial officer and chief operating officer of TerraVia. Other products include AlgaPrime DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid product for the aquaculture market, and AlgaPur, a personal care oil.

 

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