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Pendrell (PCO) Acquires 68 Pct Stake In Provitro Biosciences

 February 25, 2013 12:39 PM

(By Balachander) Pendrell Corp. (NASDAQ: PCO), an intellectual property (IP) investment and advisory firm, has acquired a 68 percent stake in plant propagation technology company Provitro Biosciences LLC.

Kirkland, Washington-based Pendrell - formerly known as ICO Global Communications - said Provitro's plant propagation technology will address growing world demand for sustainable harvests, including fiber and food sources.

Provitro has developed Provitro,  a proprietary method to enable lower cost and higher quality commercial-scale plant production. It is producing giant timber bamboo starts, helping develop a sustainable fiber replacement for the pulp, paper, energy, textile and hardwood markets.

[Related -The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD): More Room For Improvement]

According to Pendrell, Provitro technology involves propagating plants in a lab on a mass scale, as an alternative to traditional seed or genetically modified plantings.

Provitro, founded as Booshoot LLC in 2004, initially focused its technology on the propagation of ornamental and timber bamboo. Currently, Provitro sells ornamental bamboo through Home Depot (HD) and Costco (COST) under the brand "Bamboo that Behaves".

[Related -Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) Q1 Earnings Preview: Membership Fees Or Bust]

Last year, Provitro entered into a development agreement with Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB), which is exploring the manufacturing of tissue products containing fiber derived from Booshoot's proprietary bamboo propagation technology.

"Global fiber and food markets are challenged by the pressure being placed on our forests and agricultural lands, making Booshoot's innovations increasingly relevant to a vast global market," said Pendrell CEO Ben Wolff, the former CEO of Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ: CLWR).

Pendrell shares retreated 4.58 percent to trade at $1.46 on Monday.

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