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Aker, Naturex joint venture gets boost

Naturex Aker BioMarine joint venture
New entity combining Aker BioMarine's know-how in sustainable krill sourcing with Naturex's extraction expertise receives $11 million in financing. 

Naturex, the global leader in speciality plant-based natural ingredients, announces the finalization of US$11 million in financing for AKBM Manufacturing through the US federal NMTC (New Markets Tax Credit) program for its Houston, Texas-based production site.

AKBM Manufacturing, a collaborative industrial venture
In February 2013, Naturex formed a joint venture with Aker BioMarine Antarctic, the world leader in krill harvesting and development of krill-derived biotech products rich in phospholipid omega-3 fatty acids.

This new entity, Aker BioMarine Manufacturing LLC (AKBM Manufacturing) combines Aker BioMarine's know-how in sustainable krill sourcing with Naturex's extraction expertise.

The production site is based in Houston, Texas, and is located on the site of a former ice cream production plant which has more than 145,000 square feet of manufacturing space. When it comes on line in June 2014, it will employ approximately 50 people. Further, the proximity of the Houston-Galveston port, the 2nd largest in the United States, will facilitate transport of Superba™ krill oil throughout the world in order to meet growing demand.

New Market Tax Credit equity financing for US$11 million
To finance this industrial project which involves installations within the existing site, AKBM Manufacturing applied for financing from the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) federal program established by the U.S. Congress in 2000 to promote investment and economic growth in low income communities based on certain qualifying criteria. The geographical situation of the AKBM Manufacturing plant allowed it to obtain financing for the project of US$11 million through this NMTC program from local investment funds (National New Markets Fund, Texas Mezzanine, Chase) with J.P Morgan Chase as lead manager.

This financing in the form of loans signed end of December 2013 is comprised of several tranches that includes a non-redeemable and forgivable tranche under certain conditions.

"The NMTC program represented a very good opportunity enabling us to obtain partial financing from high quality investors for a growth-generating industrial project within the framework of our joint venture with Aker BioMarine Antarctic," commented Naturex's CFO, Thierry Bertrand Lambert. "We are very proud to be able to contribute to this region's economic development by creating long-term industrial jobs and benefit from its ideal geographical position for developing the growth of our products in global markets."

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