Genomatica IPO to Fund Renewable Chemicals Made With E. Coli

Genomatica Inc., which genetically engineers microorganisms like E. coli to make chemicals used in spandex and running shoes, applied to raise as much as $100 million through an initial public offering of shares.

Genomatica, based in San Diego will be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker GENO, according to a regulatory filing. Proceeds would be used for research and development, capital projects and other purposes.

Genomatica plans to open its first commercial-scale plant for making butanediol, used in spandex, running-shoe soles and plastics, with Italian partner Novamont SpA by the end of 2012. The company engineers E. coli bacteria, among other microorganisms, to turn sugar from plants such as corn into chemicals traditionally made from oil and natural gas.

Genomatica also has agreements with Tate & Lyle Plc (TATE), Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. (4188) and Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolf’s Chemtex unit to make butanediol in the U.S., Europe and Asia starting in 2014.

Competitors in butanediol include BASF SE, Koch Industries Inc., LyondellBasell Industries NV, BioAmber Inc., Metabolix Inc. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the company said.

Genomatica also plans to convert plant sugars into butadiene, used in synthetic rubber.

The company has raised $84.2 million by issuing convertible preferred stock and has lost $43.5 million since its founding in 1998. Genomatica has no product sales, with revenue coming from grants, partnership agreements and software licensing.

Pricing and timing of the IPO weren’t provided in the filing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Kaskey in Houston at jkaskey@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net.

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