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Bioplastics leader Novamont (NB Renaissance-Eni) buys Norway’s BioBag

Together, the two companies will be able to offer the market a more complete range of solutions and create even stronger alliances with key stakeholders, from large retailers to local communities. They will also intensify their joint commitment to innovative projects that improve the separate collection of organic waste and composting systems especially in North America, Scandinavian countries, Eastern Europe and Australia.

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Novamont spa, world leader in the production of bioplastics, controlled by NB Renaissance, through Mater-BI spa, and by Versalis (Eni group), announced yesterday the acquisition of BioBag group, a Norwegian company leader in low-impact solutions for the packaging and separate collection of wet waste sectors.

Novamont’s advisors in the transaction were Hi.Lex and Hjort for legal aspects and PWC for financial, tax and labour aspects; for BioBag Bryan Garnier for M&A and Wiersholm for legal aspects.

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BioBag International is a leading global group active in the development, production and marketing of certified compostable and biodegradable applications

The group is among the leading producers of environmentally friendly packaging in Northern Europe. In addition to biodegradable and compostable applications, the group offers products based on post-consumer recycled material (PCR) under the GreenPolly brand. With a turnover of $50 million (€41 million) and 135 employees, BioBag is headquartered in Askim in Norway, has a major production site in Estonia, subsidiaries in Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Poland, Australia, Canada, USA and representatives in many countries.

The 35% stake in Mater-BI, which controls Novamont at 75%, passed to NB Renaissance in early 2016, along with a group of private equity stakes in other companies all originally held by Intesa Sanpaolo, as part of the spinoff of the bank’s private equity activities conducted in alliance with Neuberger Berman. Intesa Sanpaolo in turn had acquired control of Novamont together with the Investitori Associati II fund in 1996 from the then Montedison group. Investitori Associati II has been in liquidation for years but still appears among the shareholders of Mater-BI with a 35% share, similar to that of Melville srl, a vehicle of NB Renaissance. The rest of Mater-BI’s capital is distributed among various other private and non-private shareholders, including Berger trust.

The Novamont group is a leader in the production of bioplastics and the development of biochemicals and bioproducts through the integration of chemistry, environment, and agriculture. With more than 600 people, it closed 2019 with a turnover of about $329 million (€270 million) and constant investment in research and development (5% compared to turnover, more than 20% of people dedicated). Novamont holds about 1,800 patents and patent applications.

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It has headquarters in Novara, production plants in Terni, Bottrighe (RO) and Patrica (FR) and research laboratories in Novara, Terni and Piana di Monte Verna (CE). The company has also established an equal joint venture with Versalis (Eni) in Porto Torres (SS). It is active abroad with offices in Germany, France and the United States and a representative office in Brussels (Belgium). It is present through its own distributors in more than 40 countries on all continents.

In 2020 Novamont obtained the B Corporation certification, thus becoming part of the global B Corp movement, which is rewriting the way of doing business in the world. Aware of how much more can still be done to promote a truly sustainable and inclusive economic model, it has also decided to make its commitment binding, modifying its corporate charter and legally becoming a benefit company.

The acquisition will allow Novamont to benefit from BioBag’s highly specialized independent distribution network in geographic areas where Novamont is less present

Together, the two companies will be able to offer the market a more complete range of solutions and create even stronger alliances with key stakeholders, from large retailers to local communities. They will also intensify their joint commitment to innovative projects that improve the separate collection of organic waste and composting systems, especially in North America, Scandinavian countries, Eastern Europe and Australia.

In the last decade Novamont has been able to expand considerably, particularly through internal growth, acquiring and regenerating obsolete or decommissioned industrial sites. This agreement will allow Novamont to further expand its compostable bioplastics business in Northeast Europe, North America and Australia. BioBag will continue to operate as an independent organization, with the same management team that has performed so well in recent years.

Novamont CEO Catia Bastioli said, “The acquisition of BioBag allows Novamont to expand its circular bioeconomy model. By combining our best skills and energies and fully integrating our supply chains, we can better serve our partners both upstream and downstream in the value chain. The agreement also allows us to further develop circular solutions for different market sectors as well as for communities pursuing our goal of producing more with less.”

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BioBag CEO Kjell Ivar Bache added. “We are a very long-standing partner of Novamont and for BioBag it is like coming home. With this transaction, BioBag becomes part of a world-leading bioplastics and biochemicals company and this will enable further growth internationally.”

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(Featured image by Volodymyr Hryshchenko via Unsplash)

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First published in Be Beez, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Michael Jermaine Cards is a business executive and a financial journalist, with a focus on IT, innovation and transportation, as well as crypto and AI. He writes about robotics, automation, deep learning, multimodal transit, among others. He updates his readers on the latest market developments, tech and CBD stocks, and even the commodities industry. He does management consulting parallel to his writing, and has been based in Singapore for the past 15 years.

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