Amyris adds a royal to its board of directors

This just in, from Richard Brenneman’s Eats Shoots ‘n Leaves, posted on 2012 March 22:

Yep, the troubled UC Berkeley-spawned genetic engineering products company bankrolled by Bill Gates has added a princeling and former Prime Minister of Qatar toits  board.

A brief bio of the newest member of the Emeryville company’s board from Wikipedia:

Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani(born 1959, Doha) was a Prime Minister of Qatar from 29 October 1996 to 3 April 2007. He presently serves as an advisor to the Emir and often represents him at ceremonial events and receptions.

He is the eldest son of the former and 8th Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, and the Emir’s 3rd Lady, Sheikha Rudha bint Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani. In long form, his name could be rendered as Abdullah bin Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Muhammed Al Thani. Sheikh Abdullah is the younger half-brother of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the current Emir of Qatar, to whom Abdullah is currently an advisor.

Read the rest.

Here’s the text of the announcement filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission:

On March 15, 2012, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Amyris, Inc. (the “Company”) approved an increase in the size of the Board from 10 to 11 directors and appointed HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar as a Class I director (whose term will expire at the Company’s annual meeting of stockholders to be held in 2014), effective immediately.

His Highness was designated to serve on the Board by Biolding Investment SA (“Biolding”), a company controlled by His Highness, under a letter agreement (the “Letter Agreement”) the Company entered into in February 2012 in connection with a private placement of the Company’s common stock. Biolding purchased 2,595,155 shares of the Company’s common stock for approximately $15 million in the private placement, representing approximately 4.6% of the Company’s outstanding common stock as of March 9, 2012. In connection with such financing, the Company agreed to appoint one person designated by Biolding to serve as a member of the Board and to use reasonable efforts, consistent with the Board’s fiduciary duties, to cause the director designated by Biolding to be re-nominated by the Board in the future. These designation rights terminate upon a sale of Amyris or upon Biolding holding less than 2,595,155 shares of the Company’s common stock. The additional description of the Company’s agreements with Biolding set forth in the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 28, 2012 is incorporated herein by reference.

The Company will provide His Highness with any standard compensation approved for non-employee directors.

The Company will enter into the form of indemnification agreement with His Highness that it has entered into with its other directors and that is filed as Exhibit 10.01 to the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-166135). The indemnification agreement and the Company’s restated certificate of incorporation and restated bylaws require it to indemnify its directors and executive officers to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law.

Gee, does this mean Amyris board meetings will get Secret Service protection?

They certainly need all the held they can get, since the stock is trending downward again [$5.18 as we write] after a brief spike of $5.45 earlier in the week. And that’s down from last year’s all-time high of $33.85.

And note that the company, which has losses totaling more then $327 million in the last three years, is incorporated in Delaware, where taxes are less than here in California. Given that the company owes its very existence to the taxpayer supported work of researchers from the UC Berkeley campus, maybe its time for a state law mandating that companies begun as university spinoffs be incorporated in the same state that nurtured their very existence.

Of course there’s no profit to tax, is there?