The SPI (Industrial Project Fund) increases its share in METEX for a production of clean biochemicals entirely “Made in France”
This decision from the SPI fund, which belongs to Bpifrance, is in line with the French investment bank’s Deeptech Plan. It will allow METEX, that works on creating alternatives to petrochemistry, to have a sustainable and profitable growth strategy.
Bpifrance has decided to increase its stake in the METEX group via the SPI fund, operated on behalf of the French State and the European bank of Investment (EIB). Through the sale of Nøøvista shares and an additional subscription of €15 million, SPI becomes the reference shareholder of the Auvergne-based biochemical company, increasing its stake to a total amount of €46.5 million.
Metabolic Explorer (METEX) is a company based in Auvergne, France, which provides sustainable bio-sourced alternatives to produce PDO (propanediol) and AB (butyric acid) for use in cosmetics, animal health nutrition and biomaterials synthesis. Thanks to its unique fermentation processes, METEX has succeeded in offering competitive, biobased alternatives to products usually manufactured by the petrochemical industry, resorting mainly on sugar resources and its co-products, produced within a 100 km radius around their Amiens site.
A transaction in accordance with the Deeptech Plan
This decision comes in line with Bpifrance commitment to supporting companies with high technological innovation potential, as outlined in the Deeptech Plan. This plan aims at stimulating creation and innovation in territories and to support innovative start-ups in their growth. Since its launch in 2019, 200 start-ups were created thanks to financing and indirect investments.
This investment totally follows Deeptech Plan’s objectives, as it aims at financing the development of companies bearing a competitive industrial project. With its recent acquisition of Ajimoto’s animo-acid subsidiary in Amiens, METEX is now one of the leaders in amino-acid production in Europe, employing more than 450 people in France. SPI’s intervention will, in this context, help finance its development and its R&D investments, while supporting it in the nascent marketing phase of its products.
“We have been working alongside Benjamin Gonzalez, the founder of METEX […] and have been able to measure […] METEX's capacity for innovation, its desire to be rooted in France and its search for positive externalities, all of which are in line with our approach as an impact investor and have naturally led us to support this new ambition” said Magali Joessel, Director of the SPI Fund at Bpifrance. Indeed, this investment allows the production of amino acids to be anchored in France, offering a traceable product and limiting France's dependence on imports for its livestock feed or cosmetics industry.