Calyxt Weighs Merger Amid Continued Losses

Calyxt Weighs Merger Amid Continued Losses

The company, which has operated at a loss for four years, listed multiple possible business pivots, including a merger or the sale of assets.

Roseville-based plant biotech company Calyxt has announced it’s weighing a number of options to “maximize shareholder value.”

That could include anything from a merger, a reverse merger, or the sale of assets or licensing, according to press release issued last week. The company said it has retained Canadian financial services company Canaccord Genuity and Chicago-based law firm Sidley Austin to evaluate its options. But there’s no guarantee the company will ultimately proceed on any of the proposals. “Calyxt has not set a timetable for completion of the process and does not intend to disclose developments related to the process unless and until Calyxt executes a definitive agreement with respect thereto, or the Board otherwise determines that further disclosure is appropriate or required,” the company said in the release

Beyond improving shareholder value, Calyxt didn’t lay out any other explanation for the move. The company, which went public inc 2017, has been operating at a loss for four years.

Calyxt uses gene-editing technology to create new plants and crops. The company reported $26 million in revenue for 2021, compared to the previous year’s $23.9 million in revenue. But the company has also continued to report a yearly net loss. In 2021, it reported a loss of $29.2 million, down from $44.8 million in 2020. It reported a $39.6 million loss in 2019 and a $27.9 million loss in 2018.  

Notably, it is not uncommon for startups to operate at a loss in their earlier years. Examples include Amazon, ESPN, and Tesla.

In the company’s most recent quarterly report, Calyxt’s president and CEO Michael A. Carr said the company has continued to work on scaling and standardizing production.

[Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct Calyxt’s headquarters.]