Cargill supports acquisition of VC-backed ingredients maker

Allylix has been acquired by Evolva, a Swiss ingredients company, for $59m. Global agribusiness Cargill backed the deal by buying a further $4m of Evolva shares.

Venture capital-backed ingredients maker Allylix has been acquired by Swiss ingredients company Evolva for $59 million.

In support of the transaction Cargill, the agribusiness multinational, has invested $4 million in Evolva’s shares. This adds to an earlier $1 million share acquisition by the agribusiness earlier this year.

Allylix will hold a 14 percent stake, or 46 million shares in Evolva, after the deal completes.

Several venture capital and angel investor groups have backed Allylix in the past raising $33.5 million for the firm since 2005. The most recent capital raising was a $18.5 million round involving agtech VC firms Cultivian Ventures and Avrio Capital in 2012. The investment arm of the chemical multinational BASF, BASF Venture Capital, also committed to the round.

Avrio Capital, BASF Ventures and another remaining Allylix incumbent, Tate & Lyle Ventures, the VC the multinational sugar producer, will receive 25 percent of Allylix’s shareholding in Evolva.

Allylix produces terpene chemicals from yeast fermentation, which can be used as flavouring in food, fragrance in consumer products and as additives to pharmaceutical, agriculture and biofuels products. The company will add its product line to Evolva’s ingredients production which includes synthetic vanilla flavouring and saffron.

Evolva will also take two new ingredients which Allylix has developed to market in 2015. They are Nootkatone, grapefruit derived aroma molecule, and valencene, an orange favouring for food and drink.

Cargill is partnered with Evolva’s commercial partner on its stevia development programme, a zero calorie sweetener.