VANCOUVER—A Canadian cleantech company with new technology to produce a food industry sweetener called xylitol has been acquired by Fortress Global Enterprises Inc.
The forestry company, which is undergoing a transition of its own, said it will pay $2.5 million in newly-issued shares for S2G Biochemicals Inc.
Fortress Global was recently renamed from Fortress Speciality Paper after a significant corporate adjustment and the sale of a bank note producing plant in Switzerland. It continues to operare a dissolving pulp mill in Quebec and plans to integrate S2G’s technology at the facility.
“We believe that the production of xylitol will further optimize the utilization of our wood fibre and also provide us with the added benefit of offloading the recovery boiler which will provide a separate measurable economic benefit,” Chadwick Wasilenkoff, Fortress Global’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
He added that the deal fits with the company’s strategy of running with new innovations to foster growth.
Xylitol is best known as the artificial sweetener in chewing gum. S2G has been developing its new technology to produce the compound for several years and list snack food maker Mondelez International Inc. among its list of partners.
Fortress Global plans to first test the technology with a demonstration-scale plant at its Quebec mill. The site is expected to produce 2,000 tonnes of xylitol per year by 2020 and will cost about $33 million.
If successful, the company says it will follow up with construction of a $150 million biomass facility capable of manufacturing 20,000 tonnes per year.
Fortress Global expects the acquisition and share sale to close by the end of May.