initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

KiOR (KIOR) looks like a buy

KiOR is a next-generation renewable fuels company that has developed a process to convert forest-based biomass into renewable crude oil for the transportation sector. It aims to access the $2 trillion global transportation fuels market while also benefiting from government programs, such as the US Renewable Fuel Standard. Each of the top 10 oil refiners in the US, who account for 70% of total capacity, will be required to purchase at least $1 billion worth of renewable fuels per year by 2022.

Founded by Khosla Ventures (KV) in 2007, the cellulosic fuels company now has Condolezza Rice on its board of directors. KiOR priced shares at $15 at its IPO in June but completed its initial public offering for 10 million shares a little lower, raising $137.5 million. It claims advantage over rivals in that it derives its fuels from wood and agricultural waste, while avoiding feedstocks such as corn or soy.

KiOR has signed an offtake agreement with Catchlight Energy LLC (CLE), a joint venture between subsidiaries of Chevron and Weyerhaeuser Company, which will supply forestry-based feedstocks for KiOR's first commercial renewable fuel facility in Columbus, Mississippi, due to start production in the middle of next year.

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