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Solazyme to refine focus on food, seeks partners for industrial products business

Solazyme, based in South San Francisco, Calif., U.S.A., announced that it is focusing the company exclusively on food, nutrition and specialty ingredients, harnessing the power of its transformational algae innovation platform. Solazyme will be renamed “TerraVia™” to reflect the refined focus on food, nutrition and specialty ingredients.

Over its history Solazyme has invested in, and developed products, technology and market opportunities in industrial markets including fuels, industrial oils, and the oilfield/Encapso™ business. Moving forward, these initiatives will be grouped together as “Solazyme Industrials” and will not be part of TerraVia’s refined focus.

Solazyme believes these businesses have tremendous opportunity to develop into large and profitable entities, while improving the lives of people and the planet. The company announced that it will be pursuing strategic alternatives over the next 12-18 months to unlock the value created. Solazyme’s objective is to identify partners who have the operational capabilities needed to realize the potential of those businesses.

 Solazyme’s evolution leverages more than a decade of R&D and product development on an innovative suite of algae-based food, nutrition and specialty ingredients, as well as extensive investment in building manufacturing facilities, obtaining regulatory approvals, and commercializing initial products.

With these foundational elements in place, the company is positioned to create value and impact in the rapidly growing plant-based food, nutrition and specialty ingredients sectors.

“By unlocking the power of algae, the mother of all plants and earth’s original superfood, we are bringing much-needed innovation in food and nutrition,” said Jonathan Wolfson, the company’s co-founder and CEO.

“There are opportunities for our algae-based ingredients across every aisle of the grocery store, driven by consumer demand for clean labels and an increasing focus on plant-based foods with great taste,” said Mark Brooks, senior vice president and general manager of food ingredients at Solazyme.

“We are enhancing a new generation of foods that deliver better flavor and nutrition, including healthier fats and enhanced protein, fiber and micronutrients. In addition to products incorporating our ingredients on store shelves today, we are currently in active development projects with major CPG companies for new products such as salad dressings and gluten-free bakery products that are healthier and offer the taste and texture that consumers demand.”

Co-founder and longtime CEO, Jonathan S. Wolfson has notified Solazyme’s Board of Directors that as part of this transition he will shift his focus from daily operations to strategy and special projects including those with a consumer focus. At his request, a search for a new CEO will begin immediately.

Wolfson has been appointed chairman of the board and will remain CEO while the search is underway. He will assume the full-time role of executive chairman effective upon the placement of the new CEO.