Sao Paulo, Brazil and San Francisco, CA – (April 25, 2013) – GranBio, a Brazil-based leader in advanced biorefineries, today announced it will open its US operations office and named industry leader, Vonnie Estes, Managing Director – US . In this new role, Ms. Estes will lead GranBio’s efforts to access new technologies and establish key public and private collaborations for the company’s continued global expansion in advanced biorefinery development. The U.S. operations will be headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.
Vonnie Estes brings to GranBio over two decades of experience leading technology and commercial development programs for global chemical companies. This includes building new businesses through multimillion dollar partnerships and new value chains in technology-focused businesses. She has extensive, worldwide experience in biofuels, biobased products and agricultural biotechnology.
Ms. Estes joins GranBio from Codexis, Inc (NASDAQ: CDXS), a developer of engineered enzymes for pharmaceutical, biofuel and chemical production, where she most recently was Vice President of Corporate Development. Prior to CDXS, she was the Chief Commercial Officer at DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol (DDCE) as Executive Vice President, Business Development. Prior to joining DDCE, she led DuPont’s commercialization program for cellulosic ethanol. Her multifunctional team was responsible for the $140 million joint venture between DuPont and Danisco. Before DuPont, Ms. Estes managed the biofuels platform and strategic alliances at Syngenta. She went to Syngenta after stints at several start-up agricultural biotechnology companies and three years at Monsanto.
“GranBio intends to expand its profile in North America and our new office in the United States will allow us to build a team and execute our strategy,” said Alan Hiltner, Executive Vice President, GranBio. “We are extremely pleased that Ms. Estes will lead our effort. Her track record of success at large, established multinational and early stage start-up companies is the mark of a true entrepreneurial spirit and savvy industry trendsetter. These are exactly the qualities we want to be known for as GranBio begins its strategic global expansion.”
In April, GranBio completed the acquisition of a 25% equity investment in the North American Cleantech pioneer American Process Inc. (API). Under the agreement, GranBio will have access to a proprietary biomass pretreatment platform that makes it possible to cost-effectively develop cellulosic sugars as a feedstock for conversion to a variety of biochemicals and biofuels.
GranBio is a 100% Brazilian company, founded in June of 2011 by Bernardo Gradin, with a vision of setting itself apart as an industrial pioneer in biofuels and biochemicals. As a biotech ompany, GranBio is focused on developing proprietary technologies and strategic alliances to be scaled industrially in Brazil. In January, BNDESPar invested R$ 600 million in the company, and holds 15% of the shares of GranBio, which is controlled by the Gradin family. The 2G ethanol plant being built in Alagoas should begin operating in early 2014 with a nominal production capacity of 82 million liters per year. GranBio, chosen by Fast Company as one of the 10 most innovative companies in South America, is investing R$ 350 million in this unit.
For further information visit www.granbio.com.br/en
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