San Diego Business Journal

Verenium Agrees to Be Acquired by BASF

Monday, September 23, 2013

San Diego-based Verenium Corp. has been acquired by BASF SE, the world’s largest chemical company, for about $62 million. Verenium stock surged nearly 60 percent following the announcement, to $3.98 market close Sept. 20, up from $2.51.

The BASF deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013, and was offered at a price of $4 per share. BASF (Xetra: BAS.DE) has a market capitalization of $66.1 billion, and closed day trading Sept. 20 at $71.99.

Verenium, founded in 2007, employs about 90 in its Sorrento Valley offices. It has a strong background in development of enzymes, which are substances that help speed up chemical processes.

A BASF spokesman said the acquisition was a “good fit strategically” for BASF’s future production goals, but the company wouldn’t comment further on the deal — including whether it’d maintain operations in San Diego.

“Combining Verenium’s scientific and technological excellence with BASF’s enzyme activities and its global access into all relevant markets will strengthen BASF’s footprint in the strategic enzyme growth market,” the company said in a statement.

Verenium generated sales of $57 million in 2012 — the year it also sold its food processing and oil extracting assets to Netherlands-based Royal DSM N.V., a multinational life sciences company.

— Meghana Keshavan