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Biofuels Firm Syntroleum Gets Purchase Offer

July 27, 2013

Biofuels technology firm Syntroleum Corp. revealed Friday it has received unsolicited offers from unnamed third parties that either want to buy the company, its assets or its intellectual properties such as patents.

A news release from Tulsa-based Syntroleum indicated that the unsolicited queries prompted the company earlier this month to announce the hiring of Piper Jaffray & Co. to scout "strategic alternatives." Syntroleum said the current and long-term prospects of gas-to-liquids production and renewable fuels -- both company objectives -- were helpful to seeking those alternatives.

"Given the favorable commercial environment, the company believes that now is an appropriate time to broadly review its strategic alternatives with respect to its renewable and GTL intellectual property and its ownership and licensing interest in Dynamic Fuels."

Dynamic Fuels LLC is Syntroleum's joint venture with Tyson Foods Inc. that produces biodiesel from animal fats and greases. The refinery in Geismar, La., began operating several years ago but is now on "full standby mode," Syntroleum said.

"While the plant is ready for commercial operation, the Dynamic Fuels management committee has not determined a re-start date," the release stated.

Earlier this year, Dynamic Fuels spent $7.3 million on a new hydro-isomerization catalyst, which was completed on June 28. Syntroleum also owns a registered process for converting synthesis gas into liquid hydrocarbons.

Syntroleum faced a troubled market in 2012, with its stock below $1 for much of the year. The Nasdaq Stock Market threatened to delist the company, ultimately giving it a 180-day extension in December to get the price above the $1 threshold.

In April, Syntroleum enacted a 1-for-10 reverse stock split -- dramatically reducing the number of shares -- to raise the price above $1 and avoid delisting by Nasdaq.

Syntroleum reported first-quarter net income of $11 million, but also a $2 million net operating loss. Last year's first quarter brought a net loss of $1.9 million.

The company is scheduled to hold its second-quarter earnings conference call Aug. 7.


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Source: (c)2013 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.) Distributed by MCT Information Services


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