BP Purchases Verenium’s (VRNM) Cellulosic Biofuel Biz

Shares of Verenium (VRNM) nearly doubled at the open this morning before giving much of it back after it was announced that BP would purchase their cellulosic biofuels business for $98 million which includes facilities in Jennings, LA and San Diego, California.  Verenium retains its commercial enzyme business and retains the right to develop its own cellulosic enzyme program, select R&D capabilities and access to select biofuel technology developed by BP.

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Verenium CEO Carlos Riva commented on the deal:  “We are very pleased that our strategic development partnership with BP has successfully advanced our cellulosic ethanol technology to the cusp of commercialization.  We believe that BP is the right company to make the investment needed to carry this forward and expedite the commercialization of the technology. This agreement should give both companies the flexibility to pursue the growth opportunities in the respective businesses and achieve goals in the near-term. As a result of this transaction, Verenium will have the resources to grow our commercial enzyme business while maintaining strategic access to the emerging cellulosic ethanol market in a manner that better fits our resources.”

Not a bad move from a company needing some positive PR headlines, but how about saving that $98 million and dishing it out to all the folks that have had their lives ruined by your careless oil extracting?

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