Bluewater Bio Raises $36M From Ombu, Hermes

Bluewater Bio International said it raised £22.5 million ($36 million) in a round led by Ombu Group and Hermes GPE Environmental Innovation Fund.


Bluewater Bio Raises £22.5 Million from Ombu Group and Hermes GPE

Bluewater Bio International, the provider of innovative high-performance and highly cost-effective water and wastewater treatment technologies, is pleased to announce that it has completed a £22.5 million financing round. The transaction was led by specialist Cleantech investors Ombu Group (“Ombu”) and Hermes GPE Environmental Innovation Fund LP (“Hermes GPE”), with GP Bullhound advising Bluewater Bio.

The board of Bluewater Bio believes that this transaction represents one of the largest growth capital finance rounds in the water sector over the last 12 months and reflects the Company’s recent commercial progress.

Stephen Brooke, CEO of Ombu Group, said: “Water technology is a core sector at Ombu and Bluewater Bio is the most exciting company we have seen in the field for some time. It is led by dynamic founders who have built a top-class team around them. They have developed a number of proprietary, robust and economically compelling products, and successfully established reference projects and partnerships in multiple countries. We are delighted to be involved in Bluewater Bio as partners in the company’s long term growth, and look forward to helping the company evolve over the coming years into a substantial water and wastewater solutions business.”

Magnus Goodlad, Head of Renewables at Hermes GPE added: “Bluewater Bio has been on our radar for some time and we have been watching its growth closely. Now that the Company is successfully converting its strong pipeline into meaningful revenue from major customers such as Severn Trent and Degrémont, we felt the time was right to invest and are pleased to be working with OMBU on what we consider to be an exciting opportunity.”

André Shortell, Partner, GP Bullhound continued: “A funding on this scale ratifies Bluewater Bio’s position as a credible and high growth player in water and wastewater treatment. As an adviser that is active in water, GP Bullhound is pleased to have worked with Bluewater Bio on its equity raise; as it possessed the critical elements of management vision supported by an experienced technical and project team for execution, strong relationships with key players in multiple markets, and a profitable business model with effective route to market.”

Daniel Ishag, Founder and CEO of Bluewater Bio, concluded: “Whilst this financing contributes crucial expansion capital to our business, the accompanying intellectual capital is just as important. Both Ombu and Hermes GPE bring valuable sector and territorial experience, and we look forward to working with them as genuinely strategic partners. We welcome Stephen, Magnus and their teams to a hands-on family of investors and advisors, from the UKTI to the former GE team at Liberation Capital – who committed £5 million to Bluewater Bio in November 2011.”

Commercial Update

South Africa
In June 2011, the Company completed a HYBACS® installation at the Botleng municipal wastewater treatment plant which serves 17,000 residents in the town of Delmas, 60km east of Johannesburg.

In July 2011, Bluewater Bio entered into a 7.3 million Bahraini Dinar (c. £13 million) contract with the Ministry of Works of the Kingdom of Bahrain to upgrade and expand the Tubli wastewater treatment plant which, serving a population equivalent of c.800,000, is the largest of its kind in the country. The Company is now deploying HYBACS®, through 42 of its proprietary SMART™ reactor units, to treat an average wastewater flow of 100,000 m3/day.

In September 2011, Bluewater Bio completed the acquisition of FilterClear Ltd’s portfolio of advanced multimedia filtration technologies which have, since 2003, shown impressive performance in over 30 commercial installations. These include both water and wastewater applications for clients including: Scottish Water; Northumbrian Water; Diageo; Gilead Sciences Ltd; Saudi Aramco and Michelin. Since the acquisition the Company has already established FilterClear trials with a number of UK operators, including Anglian Water.

Severn Trent
In January 2012, Severn Trent Water, through its key framework contractor MWH Treatment, placed an order for a HYBACS® upgrade at the Ashbourne sewage treatment works in Derbyshire, UK, which serves a population equivalent to approximately 35,000. This follows successful collaborative trials at the utility’s Coleshill site, near Birmingham.

Following several years of close collaboration an agreement was signed in October 2011 with Infilco Degremont, a subsidiary of Suez Environment, to distribute Bluewater Bio’s HYBACS® technology to municipal and industrial wastewater plants across North America. In March 2012, Infilco Degremont ordered a GHG-Tox unit from Bluewater Bio. The unit, developed from the Company’s N-Tox® technology, monitors the emissions of key GreenHouse Gases such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and Nitric Oxide (NO).