Jun 01, 2012

Ostara Raises $14.5 Million to Launch Major Expansion

Will focus on expanding technology into industrial markets with funds

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc., a clean water company that recovers phosphorus and nitrogen from industrial and municipal wastewaters to create fertilizers, announced the completion of a $14.5 million private equity financing.

Led by VantagePoint Capital Partners, a global investor in energy innovation and efficiency, the financing also included existing Ostara investor, London-based Frog Capital and a group of new investors including Waste Resources Fund LP, a fund managed by FourWinds Capital Management.

Ostara's Pearl technology recovers unwanted nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen from wastewater and transforms them into an environmentally friendly, slow-release fertilizer, marketed as Crystal Green.  The company currently has four commercial nutrient recovery facilities in operation in the United States and three additional facilities under construction, including its first Canadian facility in Saskatoon, SK and its first European facility, for Thames Water, in London.

According to Phillip Abrary, Ostara president & CEO, the company's focus will now be to expand the application of its proprietary nutrient recovery technology into industrial markets. "In addition to growing our worldwide municipal customer base," said Abrary, "these funds will be used to commercialize a significant industrial opportunity that we've been developing for the past 24 months."

"To date, Ostara's creative public/private partnerships have made significant progress in the successful recovery of phosphorus and other nutrients from municipal wastewater streams," said Stephan Dolezalek, managing director at VantagePoint. "Now the company will be able to tackle substantial opportunities within the broader industrial arena."

Iyad Omari, partner with Frog Capital and new member on Ostara's Board of Directors added, "We have always been impressed with Ostara's business model of taking waste from one industry and turning it into a high-value and unique product for another industry. Reusing waste as fertilizer goes back to the dawn of farming, but doing it on an industrial scale with wastewater, without any harmful chemicals and through conversion to a premium grade product is new. We are very excited about the continued adoption of the process by wastewater treatment facilities, and I look forward to working closely with the Ostara team."

New investor, Waste Resources Fund LP, recognizes Ostara's unique value proposition for the fertilizer market. "The energy-efficient and sustainable production of an environmentally responsible phosphorus fertilizer is key to Ostara's differentiation as a market leader and to our Waste Resources Fund investment," said Lydia Whyatt, a managing director at FourWinds Capital Management.

"We are pleased to have continued strong support from investment partners VantagePoint and Frog Capital, and we welcome Waste Resources Fund LP among new investors to Ostara," said Abrary. "Their collective expertise and success in supporting innovative, sustainable solutions, particularly in the water sector, will be invaluable to helping Ostara achieve its long-term growth objectives," said Abrary.