Tate & Lyle PLC and Microbia Precision Engineering, Inc. form partnership to develop and commercialise fermentation-derived renewable ingredients

2 October 2006 - Tate & Lyle, a world leader in renewable ingredients, and Microbia Precision Engineering, Inc, today have formed a multi-year partnership to develop fermentation-derived renewable ingredients.

Precision Engineering®, a subsidiary of US-based entrepreneurial pharmaceutical company Microbia, specialises in the development of highly efficient microbial manufacturing technology. Tate & Lyle is one of the world’s major fermentation producers with long standing experience in fermentation markets, process development, manufacturing and carbohydrate feedstock supply. The partnership will leverage these synergies.

As part of the agreement, Tate & Lyle will invest US$7 million to acquire a minority shareholding in Microbia Precision Engineering, Inc, and take one seat on the board. In addition, Tate & Lyle will invest a further US$13.75 million in research and development over a period of five years. The two companies will work exclusively together within defined renewable ingredient markets and will share the profits from products commercialised through their collaboration.

The partnership will stimulate new product development and reduce time to commercialisation. Prospective third-party collaborators will be able to work with the new partnership and benefit from access to the complete value chain from feedstock to manufactured fermentation product.

Iain Ferguson, Chief Executive, Tate & Lyle said, “In the last decade, Tate & Lyle has established fermentation as a core technological competency. This has proved a catalyst for new product development, leading to ground-breaking ingredients such as Bio-PDO™ (developed with our joint venture partners DuPont). We look forward to partnering with Precision Engineering®. Their excellent reputation in the field of microbial technology is well deserved.”

“This collaboration marks an important step in the development of our Precision Engineering® business into a product-based organisation,” said Richard Bailey, President of the Microbia Precision Engineering, Inc. subsidiary. “Not only are we aligning ourselves with an established and well-respected company, but we are retaining the rights to become full commercial partners for products we introduce into the collaboration which will contribute to our continued growth.”

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