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Tesoro Acquires Renewable Fuels Producer

HOUSTON — Tesoro Corp. acquired Virent, whose BioForming technology is used for the production of low-carbon bio-based fuels and chemicals. Following this transaction, Virent will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Tesoro and remain in Madison, Wis.

“The Tesoro announcement is a critical milestone for Virent to establish a pathway to commercialization with a recognized leader in refining, marketing and logistics. While we will maintain our entrepreneurial spirit and culture, Virent will also benefit from the strategic support and capability of Tesoro, capturing the best of both companies,” said Lee Edwards, Virent CEO. “We are excited to start the next phase of work with Tesoro, along with our other strategic partners.”

As CSNews Online previously reported, Tesoro and Virent first initiated a strategic relationship this January, and have worked together to establish a forward plan to scale-up the technology and reduce deployment risks to meet the increasing demands for high quality, renewable fuels and chemicals.

"With this acquisition, Tesoro intends to foster more rapid commercialization of Virent's renewables technology, which could uniquely position the company with an improved means of future regulatory compliance, as well as potential licensing opportunities," said C.J. Warner, executive vice president of operations at Tesoro. "Tesoro plans to provide resources and expertise to support the scale-up and commercialization of the technology while maintaining Virent's innovative culture and business that are key to its success."

The transition is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Virent offers patented technology featuring catalytic chemistry to convert plant-based materials into a full range of products identical to those made from petroleum, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and chemicals for plastics and fibers. The products are drop-in replacements that enable full utilization of existing logistics infrastructure without blending limitations.

Houston-based Tesoro Corp.’s retail division includes more than 2,400 retail stations under the ARCO, Shell, Exxon, Mobil, USA Gasoline, Rebel and Tesoro brand names.

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