Unibio, which was Wealth Club’s first ever single company Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) offer to its clients in 2017 has announced an investment of c.$70million from the Saudi Industrial Investment Group (SIIG).
Unibio has developed technology to convert natural gas (methane) into organic, high quality sustainable protein for the global animal feed market on an industrial scale.
The investment follows the signing of a major licensing agreement with Gulf Biotech in Quatar to produce its product Uniprotein.
Wealth Club clients first invested in Unibio alongside lead investor and adviser West Hill Capital in 2017 at a share price of GBP £4. Those who invested in the first tranche will have seen a 2.27x unrealised return on their investment. To date Wealth Club clients have invested £2.8 million.
Gayle Bowen, Finance Director and Head of Direct Company Investments at Wealth Club said: “We are enormously proud of this business. Not only does it look like it will deliver phenomenal returns to our clients but its science based innovations provide a solution to some of the world’s most pressing challenges – food security and sustainability. Unibio aims to become the world’s market leader in alternative protein production based on methanotrophic bacteria. The fact it is also Wealth Club’s very first direct EIS offer to our clients, make its success more special. We are excited to see what will happen next for the company, as this investment will enable them to meet the soaring global demand, and support their expansion into products for human consumption.”
David Hollidge, Partner, West Hill said: “West Hill has been an ardent backer of Unibio over the years having raised over £45million for the company to date in various investment rounds from as little as c30p/share. Bank of America arranged this latest round with the Saudi Industrial Investment Group, and both remain acutely aware of what this capital can allow Unibio to achieve. West Hill has discussed with the Board the possibility of investing on the same terms as the Saudi Industrial Investment Group, along with facilitating a secondary market. An IPO is anticipated in due course once the plants are operational, at which point, there could be a significant additional uplift in valuation.”
Unibio’s product, Uniprotein is a high-quality and sustainable protein on par with other high-quality proteins such as fishmeal and soy and studies have shown that this increases yield and resistance to disease. For instance, in tests, cattle fed the UniProtein® food yielded 10% more milk. In addition, the physical properties of the feed are advantageous in terms of particle size, relevant for good distribution in feeds, storage shelf life and traceability.
It has patented technology to convert natural gas such as methane into high quality sustainable protein on an industrial scale. Creating significant amounts of sustainable feed for farm animals and without the waste. It holds 70% protein content and is produced with no pesticides and significantly less water than plant-based protein sources. In addition, it does not take up farmland. The company is now developing the product for human consumption.
The US$70 m investment will facilitate the rollout of the company’s breakthrough technology to help meet a soaring global demand. The US$70million investment from the Saudi Industrial Investment Group, which values Unibio at circa £250million upon completion, is expected to form part of up to US$100million raise that the Board expects to conclude in the coming months.
The Saudi Industrial Investment Group is a leading independent petrochemical company listed on the Saudi Exchange with a market cap of about US$5billion.