October 2, 2017 / 6:24 AM / a year ago

Evolva plans to raise 80 mln Sfr capital, possible debt financing

ZURICH, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Evolva aims to raise around 80 million Swiss francs ($82.42 million) in two capital increases this year and may boost debt financing to meet its contractual obligations with partner Cargill, the money-losing sweetener maker said on Monday.

As a first step, Swiss asset manager Pictet and British investment firm Cologny would acquire a total of 68 million shares, Evolva said, boosting Pictet's holdings to 10 percent and giving Cologny a 5 percent stake. The increase would total about 27 million Swiss francs ($28 million).

In a second step, Evolva plans an extraordinary general shareholder meeting on Oct. 26 to vote on a discounted rights offering aimed at raising the rest of the 80 million francs.

The Swiss company, which had already announced plans to cut 43 percent of workers after a 20.3 million franc first-half loss, said it aims to be "close to profitability" by 2021.

It aims to focus initially on the sweetener stevia, health supplement resveratrol and nootkatone, a potential mosquito repellent.

Evolva said it will release terms of the possible debt financing related to its Cargill obligations "at the relevant time".

Cargill will manufacture Evolva's stevia-based sugar replacement called EverSweet, though the launch has been delayed until 2018.

Evolva shares have fallen by 45 percent this year, trimming its market capitalisation to less than 170 million francs.

$1 = 0.9707 Swiss francs Reporting by John Miller; editing by Jason Neely

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