Court accepts $48.5M bid for Abengoa Hugoton from Synata Bio

By Susanne Retka Schill | November 30, 2016

The Kansas district bankruptcy court approved the top bid for Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas in an order signed Nov. 29 by Judge Robert Nugent. Synata Bio Inc. placed the top bid of $48.5 million, with Shell Oil Co. named as the backup bidder. 

Earlier, Shell had placed a stalking horse bid of $26 million, which was topped by Synata Bio’s qualified bid of $27.05 million submitted on Nov. 18.  At the Nov. 21 auction, both parties raised their bids, with Shell’s final bid of $40.75 million, coming in under Synata Bio’s.  According to the Nov. 29 ruling, Synata’s bid included an agreement to use best efforts to resolve an issue with the U.S. DOE related to a 2007 ABBK award. 

According to the court documents, the sale included the 25 MMgy nameplate cellulosic ethanol production facility and electric cogeneration plant at Hugoton, Kansas, along with about 400 acres of land. It included furnishings and equipment, supplies and vehicles, and feedstock inventory.  It excluded the intellectual property contained in the process and license agreements with Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies LLC. 

A spokesman with Ocean Park Advisors, which handled the bankruptcy auction, said the closing is on track to be completed by Dec. 5. 

Synata Bio was formed in 2015. An SEC form D filing was made for Synata Bio Inc. in November, 2015, giving notice of an exempt offering of securities. The first offering totaled $30 million, of which $10 million was reported sold. Steven Kloos was named president and director and Matthew Ahearn and Jay Kouba were named directors. Ahearn and Kloos both work on early stage investment opportunities with True North Venture Partners. The address for Synata Bio in the filing indicates it is housed in the former headquarters of Coskata at Warrenville, Illinois, and in checking filings, it appears Synata Bio now holds Coskata patents.  A call to the Synata Bio headquarters to confirm this was not returned.