Business & Real Estate

Marrone Bio has new board chairman

Bob Woods, newly appointed chairman of the board of directors of Davis-based biotech firm Marrone Bio Innovations Inc.
Bob Woods, newly appointed chairman of the board of directors of Davis-based biotech firm Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. Marrone Bio Innovations

Davis biotech firm Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. this week completed two transactions designed to wipe out debt and bolster its financial standing, clearing the way for a new chairman of the company’s board of directors.

A private placement enabled investors to purchase about $30 million in common stock, and the issuing of shares to investors effectively converted $45 million worth of debt into equity.

The company said the combined moves, both approved by stockholders, reduced MBI’s debt from $62.5 million to $17.5 million.

MBI said the investors included New York-based Ospraie Ag Science LLC, which is controlled by Dwight W. Anderson, the hedge fund manager and founder of Ospraie Management LLC. Ospraie Ag now has a nearly 30 percent stake in MBI.

Waddell & Reed Advisors, under the ownership umbrella of Kansas-based Waddell & Reed Financial Inc., now has a nearly 25 percent stake in Marrone under the transaction that converted previous debt into equity.

MBI said it expects to receive cash net proceeds of approximately $27 million from the transactions, assets it intends to use for working capital and general corporate purposes.

“We are truly thrilled to have successfully closed the transactions, which will dramatically improve our balance sheet, flexibility and resources,” Pam Marrone, MBI’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “… Looking forward, we will remain squarely focused on growing our company and shareholder value.”

The agreements included the appointment of directors designated by Ospraie Ag Science to MBI’s board.

Bob Woods was appointed chairman of the MBI’s board of directors, and Yogesh Mago was named a director. Woods replaces Tim Fogarty, who resigned when the transaction closings were announced on Tuesday.

Woods has more than 50 years of experience in agribusiness and agriculture products. Since 2012, he has served as chairman and CEO of Targeted Growth Inc., a Seattle-based biotechnology firm.

Mago is a consultant for Ospraie Management LLC and has an extensive background in investments.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover

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