Emalfarb returns to Dyadic

By Bryan Sims
Web exclusive posted June 27, 2008 at 1:33 p.m. CST

Mark Emalfarb, who was fired from his position as chief executive officer of Dyadic International amid a tax scandal last year, has now been reinstated as chairman and CEO of the company he spent nearly 30 years building.

The decision came June 20 at Dyadic's court-ordered annual shareholder meeting in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where a group of shareholders led by Emalfarb restructured the board in its favor. Emalfarb, along with supporters Seth Herbst and Robert Burke, ousted the board members who dismissed him last year, which gives the group a controlling vote.

Emalfarb's return came shortly after Interim Chairman of the Board Harry Rosengart announced his resignation June 19. The board now consists of Emalfarb, his newly elected members and Stephen Warner.

Previously, six key Dyadic employees announced their resignations in anticipation of Emalfarb's return to the Jupiter, Fla.-based industrial enzyme and alternative energy research company. Those who announced their resignations included: CEO Wayne Moor, Chief Financial Officer Lisa De La Pointe, Chief Business Officer and Executive Vice President Alexander Bondar, Executive Vice President of Manufacturing Kent Sproat, Senior Vice President of Research and Development Daniel Michalopoulos, and Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Charles Kling IV. Vito Pontrelli was hired as interim CFO.

Dyadic's board fired Emalfarb in August 2007 after it conducted a report alleging his involvement with a tax scandal at Puridet, a Chinese subsidiary wholly owned by Dyadic. A month later, Dyadic was notified by the American Stock Exchange that it would be delisted.

Then in September, the board fired Emalfarb. Claiming he didn't have any knowledge of any problems at the time, Emalfarb challenged the company's conclusions. He later regained control after convincing several large shareholders to side with his major ownership stake in Dyadic, and he got a judge from Delaware to order that the board hold elections.

Although Emalfarb said he "wouldn't rule out" taking legal action against the former board members and the financial consultant who audited Puridet, getting Dyadic "back on its feet" is his top priority for now. "We got a whole bunch of clouds that we need to clear up, and we're trying to assess the resources we have to clear those clouds and the time that we have to do it," Emalfarb said. "We have a lot of interested people at the table that actually want to get their hands on the technology that we have developed."

Emalfarb said he was impressed on how far along the company's research has gone in his absence. "I'm actually pleased on a whole variety of fronts," he said. "I've seen evidence recently that shows we can extract more sugars than we could in the past out of different enzyme mixtures. We continue to make good progress. The issue here now comes down to what resources we have to do whatever it is we need to do, and certainly a lot of those resources are in the hands of lawyers right now."

To learn more about Dyadic, visit www.dyadic.com.