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Agronomics Awarded $25 Million USDA Loan to Advance Fermentation Capacity Through Liberation Labs

Agronomics Limited, a trailblazer in the burgeoning field of alternative proteins, has recently heralded a significant stride in the industry with the announcement of a $25 million loan guarantee awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to Ameris Bancorp for the completion of Liberation Labs Holdings Inc's biomanufacturing facility in Indiana, USA. This substantial financial backing marks a pivotal moment for the industry, addressing a critical gap in fermentation capacity that has long been a bottleneck for the sector.

Liberation Labs is in the midst of constructing a commercial-scale precision fermentation biomanufacturing facility. Boasting a capacity of 600,000 liters and equipped with a fully dedicated downstream process, the facility is poised to set new standards in the production of bio-based proteins. The focus is on optimizing cost, boosting yield production, and enhancing efficiency, particularly for innovative bio-based proteins such as those derived from precision fermentation, including egg and dairy proteins.

The USDA loan guarantee is not just a financial boost but also a significant vote of confidence in Liberation Labs' business plan and vision. It ensures the necessary capital infusion to complete the facility's build-out within the next year, with commercial production slated to begin by the first quarter of 2025. This loan, designed to stimulate local economic development, underscores the USDA's commitment to enhancing US biomanufacturing capacity.

Agronomics' involvement in Liberation Labs is substantial, with an investment totaling $7.6 million since the company's inception. This investment is currently valued at £18.4 million and represents about 10.5% of Agronomics' last published Net Asset Value, inclusive of post-balance sheet date adjustments. Agronomics holds a significant 37.4% equity ownership in Liberation Labs on a fully diluted basis.

Mark Warner, CEO and Co-founder of Liberation Labs, expressed his gratitude for the USDA loan guarantee, acknowledging it as a testament to their robust business plan and forward-thinking vision. Jim Mellon, Executive Director of Agronomics, highlighted the transformative potential of Liberation Labs' fermentation infrastructure. He emphasized its role in scaling up the production of precision fermentation proteins to meet the burgeoning demand in the US and across the globe.

Liberation Labs stands at the forefront of commercializing precision fermentation, aiming to establish a global network of manufacturing facilities dedicated to producing bio-based consumer products at scale. Meanwhile, Ameris Bancorp, the bank holding company facilitating the loan, is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with its banking subsidiary, Ameris Bank, operating across multiple states.

Agronomics, a leader in cellular agriculture and cultivated meat, has built a portfolio of over 20 companies in this rapidly advancing sector. The company is committed to investing in technologies that offer new, sustainable ways of producing food and materials, traditionally derived from animals. Agronomics is at the helm of an agricultural revolution, focusing on sustainability, human health, animal welfare, and environmental protection.

In conclusion, the USDA loan guarantee for Liberation Labs' biomanufacturing facility is a landmark achievement for Agronomics and the cellular agriculture industry at large. It signifies a major step towards meeting the increasing demand for sustainable, bio-based consumer products and sets a precedent for future developments in the field. With the operational launch anticipated in 2025, this project is poised to make a significant impact on the industry and the global food supply chain.


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