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In The News: private equity buys into pigment dispersion & biotech's next-gen rheology modifiers

Gryphon Heritage Fund actively seeks partners in pigments and colorants sector; Ginkgo Bioworks and Bioweg team up to optimize ingredient production.

Photo by Kym MacKinnon on Unsplash

💰🎨Paying for Pigments

This week, the private equity firm that owns beauty effect pigments supplier Sandream Specialties announced the acquisition of Reitech Corporation, a Pennsylvania-based company that specializes in pigment dispersions.

Sandream Specialties has been a Vivify company since 2018. And in late 2021 Vivify was acquired by Gryphon Heritage Fund (the small-cap strategy of middle-market private equity firm Gryphon Investors, as Wednesday’s press release explains).

Now this week, Vivify acquired Reitech. And this definitely will not be the company’s final deal in the pigments and colorants sector: “Gryphon Heritage Fund…is actively seeking to partner with additional businesses in order to expand product offerings and services for its customers.”

Commenting on this week’s transaction, Vivify CEO Devlin Riley, notes that “the combination of Reitech with Vivify's pigments dispersions division, Heritage Color, creates a pigment dispersion business with considerable scale and positions the combined company to take advantage of new strategic opportunities, while remaining focused on high quality and service.”

“Reitech's portfolio,” he adds, “will diversify Vivify's product line and allow us to better serve existing customers, as well as reach new end-markets. We're excited to welcome the Reitech team.”

🧬💦Biodesiging a next generation of rheology modifiers

This month Ginkgo Bioworks and Bioweg announced a partnership to optimize production of a cost-effective and readily degradable alternative to the acrylates, polyethylene, and polystyrene conventionally used as rheology modifiers (and microbeads in markets where these are still allowable) in cosmetic and personal care product formulations.

Ginkgo Bioworks is a Boston, Massachusetts – based company specializing in cell programming and has made notable contributions to the beauty industry over the years since the company got its start in 2008. In 2015, for instance, Ginkgo partnered with fragrance maker Robertet to create lactones via fermentation. And the following year, Ginkgo teamed up with Amyris (the biotech company behind Biossance, Rose Inc., Costa Brazil, EcoFabulous, and more) to co-develop some 70 beauty ingredients. It’s worth mentioning too that Jasmina Aganovic, CEO of Arcaea (a leading-edge company making beauty ingredients through expressive biology), spent almost 2 years as Ginkgo Bioworks’ Entrepreneur In Residence.

The startup Bioweg is targeting microplastics and petroleum-based polymers, creating alternatives based on bacterial cellulose. Bioweg is based in Niedersachsen, Germany; and works with food industry side-stream materials, leveraging biotechnology, materials science, and green chemistry to develop ingredients.

“Bioweg is addressing a significant need in the marketplace to develop and produce a new generation of clean alternatives to synthetic polymers,” explains Ena Cratsenburg, Chief Business Officer at Ginkgo Bioworks, in her recent remarks to the press. “We are committed to supporting the shift to sustainable and bio-based high-performance alternatives and are thrilled to be working with Bioweg to address the pressing issues of microplastics contamination and promote responsible consumption.”


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