Natura-Tec Announces The Strategic Partnership For The Development, Manufacture and Marketing of Microalgae Ingredients Between the APG Group and Microphyt


Paris, France - August 2017
The international oleo-chemical group of Companies APG, with headquarters in Milan, Italy, leader in sustainable oleo-chemistry and active since 2008 in marine-technology and biomass manufacturing and research, and MICROPHYT SA, a French innovative company focusing on the development and production of microalgae-based natural active ingredients for nutraceuticals and cosmetics industries, today announce the signing of a strategic alliance to jointly develop and market unique ingredients for food, feed, pharma and cosmetics applications.

The APG Group has recently completed a major investment plan, building the biggest plant for microalgae production in Northern Italy, on the Mediterranean coast, and one of the largest worldwide, with more than 10.000 m2 of photobioreactors and open pond installations under greenhouse cover for the manufacture of dry biomass.

MICROPHYT SA, in addition to its current established business, has been selected by the European Commission programme to benefit from its ‘Horizon 2020 SME Instrument’ that funds market-creating innovation in dynamic businesses that have significant growth potential and global ambitions. Microphyt’s SMILE project for the development of natural marine-derived nutraceutical active ingredients was the only winner in the ‘Blue Growth’ category among the applications filed by February 2016.

This agreement, signed in Paris on July 19th by the President of APG Group, Augusto Parodi and the main Shareholders of MICROPHYT, foresees the acquisition of an initial share capital by APG with the option of raising its share up to 26% within first-half of 2018. As the major industrial partner in the venture, APG will immediately appoint a director to the MICROPHYT board in order to reinforce the strategic cooperation between the two Companies in R&D, production and marketing activities.

Gianluca Fenaroli, CEO of APG Group, and Vincent Usache, CEO of Microphyt, underlined that the agreement is built on a common vision and ambition to establish a long term partnership. It will contribute to the growth of a group of companies that has significant potential to become a technical and commercial leader in Europe in the field of microalgae-based products. Furthermore the two parties have identified possibilities to exploit synergies particularly in R&D, marketing and production with mutual benefits in the shorter term.

Gianluca Fenaroli, who will represent APG on the MICROPHYT Board of Directors, said on the subject: "This strategic partnership is a pillar of the APG strategy to grow its presence in the promising microalgae business which is perfectly coherent with the mission of our Group of Companies: to strengthen our presence in the sustainable chemistry segment, continuing to offer to the market a wide range of high quality products for industrial application in diversified segments, from cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to food, feed and lubricants

Vincent Usache added that “we are delighted to receive the support of APG Group at such a stage in the development of Microphyt. We have already identified promising opportunities in our respective product portolio. This deal will leverage the synergies between APG and Microphyt on the technical, regulatory and commercial side. In this collaboration, we also share a common vision of delivering effective, safe and sustainably-produced unique active ingredients. I am totally convinced that this collaboration will help better serve our customers”.

The APG Group
The APG Group of Companies is an international organisation leading in the production of esters, refined natural oils, cosmetic raw materials, advanced biofuel and microalgae with manufacturing in various countries. It has been structured in business divisions in 2016, creating the APG Group, with the aim of exploiting synergies within the acquired businesses in the oleochemical field and based on the original expertise developed over 70 years of activity of the A&A Fratelli Parodi site, based in Genova, Italy.

Currently APG own, control and/or participate in a group of 11 companies with total revenues of approximately 150 Million Euro with 200 employees globally. APG is organized in 3 main business divisions:
  • Chemical: manufacture and development of a wide range of natural-based oleochemical raw materials for industrial applications
  • Advanced Biofuel: production of 3rd generation biodiesel based on recovery and valorisation of recycled vegetable oils and derivatives
  • Life Science: development and production of natural cosmetic, pharma, food and feed raw-materials from advanced vegetable and microalgae feedstocks. Within this organisation all Personal Care activities for cosmetic ingredients are managed and coordinated worldwide by Natura-Tec, a manufacturing and logistic pole of the APG Group based in Frejus, on the French Riviera.
MICROPHYT is an innovative SME specializing in the production and commercialization of microalgae-based natural active ingredients. With its know-how and experience of more than 10 years in this field, Microphyt draws from microalgae unique solutions for nutrition & health and cosmetics industries. Microphyt’s technologies, developed internally and patented, allow the controlled production of microalgae biomass and extracts. Microalgae are cultured in specific tubular photobioreactors. These systems are particularly suited to the production of delicate and/or slow-growing species in that they preserve their cellular integrity; consequently, they offer access to an immensely diverse range of interesting molecules. Microphyt has filed four patents on microalgae production processes.

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