* Looks to raise up to $100 million
* No mention of price or number of shares
* Company says may never become profitable
* No plans to offer dividend
* Shares of rivals Gevo, Solazyme down 30 pct since IPOs
(Adds investment risk details)
By Ernest Scheyder
NEW YORK, Aug 24 Genomatica Inc, which makes
chemicals from renewable feedstocks, wants to raise as much as
$100 million in an initial public offering to capitalize on
burgeoning interest in the green chemistry sector.
The San Diego-based company, in a filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, did not say
how many shares it will offer or at what price.
The company plans to list its common stock on the Nasdaq
exchange .IXIC under the symbol "GENO."
The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its
first IPO filing is used to calculate registration fees. The
final size of the IPO can be different.
Proceeds from the offering will be used for research and
development costs and capital expenditures, according to the
The company warned it has never made any revenue from
selling chemicals, has never turned a profit and may never turn
Genomatica also has no plans to pay a dividend, meaning the
stock would have to grow consistently to remunerate investors.
The company's technology reprograms E. coli bacteria to
produce several chemicals using a range of feedstocks, not just
corn like several key rivals.
Most of its technology does not yet have patent protection
in the United States, the company said in the filing.
Genomatica has begun began making small batches of
butanediol, a chemical used to make spandex, as part of a
licensing partnership with Tate & Lyle. (TATE.L)
While it has been successful producing butanediol in small
batches, Genomatica said it has no experience producing,
storing and transporting the chemical in large batches.
The company also relies heavily on joint-venture partners
to build and run plants, a large risk if partners decide to
pull out. Earlier this week Genomatica announced a joint
venture with Novamont to build a butanediol plant in Italy.
The hunt to produce chemicals from feedstocks other than
fossil fuels has sparked intense interest from companies both
big and small, including Metabolix MBLX.O, Exxon Mobil
(XOM.N) and Dow Chemical (DOW.N). The interest is akin to the
dot-com race of the late 1990s.
What remains to be seen is which company's technology will
emerge the winner and become the renewable chemical industry's
equivalent of Google Inc. (GOOG.O)
Genomatica is clearly betting it can be such a winner,
though so far it is unclear whether Wall Street wants to go
along for the ride.
Shares of rivals Gevo (GEVO.O) and Solazyme SZYM.O have
each dropped about 30 percent since their own IPOs earlier this
year. Metabolix, which has seen its stock drop 66 percent since
launching in 2006, has never made money.
Morgan Stanley (MS.N), J.P.Morgan (JPM.N), Jefferies, Piper
Jaffray and Raymond James are underwriting the Genomatica
The company had been scouting possible exchange listings
for weeks. In late June a digital sign on the Nasdaq exchange
in Times Square prematurely announced, "Nasdaq Welcomes
Genomatica's current investors include Mitsubishi (8058.T),
TPG, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Alloy Ventures and Waste
TPG, a private investment firm, is Genomatica's largest
investor with about 19 percent of shares before the offering.
(Reporting by Jochelle Mendonca in Bangalore and Ernest
Scheyder in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel, Dave Zimmerman
and Matthew Lewis)