BioAmber seeks court approval to liquidate assets

By Erin Voegele | August 03, 2018

BioAmber Inc. has announced it is seeking court approval to pursue liquidation of its assets, including its Sarnia, Ontario-based biorefinery, as well as alternative offers after the company failed to receive any acceptable sales or investment bids by a July 27 deadline.  

On May 4, BioAmber filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. The company’s two Canadian subsidiaries, BioAmber Sarnia Inc. and BioAmber Canada Inc., made a similar filing under Canadian bankruptcy laws. At that time, the company indicated it planned to strengthen its financial health and solidify long-term business prospects.

On June 18, the company announced it had received formal approval from a court in Quebec for debtor-in-possession financing that was to enable the sales and investor solicitation process (SISP), which began June 1, along with the continued operations of the Sarnia plant. Under the court ruling, non-binding letters of intent for the SISP were due June 29 with binding term sheets due by July 31. At that time, Rick Eno, CEO of BioAmber, indicated the company had a number of strategic and financial investors evaluating an investment as part of the SISP.

The SISP process concluded without an acceptable offer being received from a qualified bidder. On July 30, the company announced that subject to court approval, it will now solicit liquidators to bid on the acquisition and disposal of the company’s assets, including the Sarnia plant. BioAmber also said it will continue to actively engage with qualified bidders and other interested parties to determine if a transaction that would result in the continuation of the company’s operations is still possible.

According to BioAmber, this process is expected to take two weeks, with a target conclusion date of Aug. 14.

“We are clearly disappointed that the Qualified Bidders did not place an acceptable offer for BioAmber,” Eno said in a statement. “We will continue to be actively engaged with potential investors to seek an acceptable transaction and avoid the liquidation of the company’s assets. Most importantly, I’d like to thank our dedicated and highly capable employees for their outstanding service to the company.”

BioAmber filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in May 2013 and began construction on its Sarnia plant in September of that year. The facility, which produces biobased succinic acid, began operations in October 2015.