Metabolix Has Record Drop After ADM Ends Bio-Plastics Venture

Metabolix Inc. (MBLX), the Massachusetts maker of plant-derived chemicals, had its biggest intraday decline after Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) unexpectedly ended a joint venture that made bio-plastics.

Metabolix, based in Cambridge, dropped 55 percent to $2.68 at 9:33 a.m. in New York, the largest fall since the company began trading in 2006.

The companies’ alliance will end Feb. 8 because its financial returns are “too uncertain,” Decatur, Illinois-based ADM said in a statement yesterday. The company will dissolve Telles LLC, created with Metabolix to sell the bio-plastic Mirel, while retaining an ADM factory in Clinton, Iowa, where the corn-based resin was made.

Metabolix didn’t expect the cancellation and will start evaluating options for commercializing its bio-plastics technology, including searching for a new partner, Chief Executive OfficerRichard Eno said yesterday in a conference call.

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