Ceres Inc., which is developing seeds to provide special crops for the biofuels industry, on Monday filed for an initial public offering to raise up to $100 million.
The Thousand Oaks agricultural biotech company, which was founded in 1996 as a more general-purpose seed developer, has since narrowed its focus to create plants with increased usable biomass that can be efficiently grown on marginal land with less water and fertilizer. Ceres has received grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency for Energy. It also collaborates with Monsanto Co., which owns 6.4 percent of the company.
Ceres said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to use most of the net proceeds from the offering for seed production, acquisitions and general corporate purposes. The company, whose venture backers include private equity firms Warburg Pincus, Artal Luxembourg, and Oxford Bioscience, had a net loss of $22.5 million on revenue of $6.6 million for the 12 months ended Aug. 31.
The company plans to list its stock on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “CERE.” The filing did not give the number of shares to be sold or when they would be sold. The offering is being underwritten by Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Barclays Capital.
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