Limestone paper maker seeks funding for overseas growth

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In Japan, a company producing paper from rock is seeing pre-IPO funding to expand production and sales.

TBM’s technology converts limestone into paper using less water than traditional paper production. The company’s product, dubbed Limex, is also recyclable and biodegradable.

Current investors include Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Itochu Corp. and Toppan Printing Co., Japan’s largest printer. TBM has raised 1.6 billion yen ($14 million) and 3.1 billion yen in its most recent funding rounds and aims to raise several more billion yen before a 2021 IPO.

“Our next round is for overseas expansion, both for production and sales,” Nobuyoshi Yamasaki tells Bloomberg. “We want to expand aggressively overseas, and to do that we need the funding to hire more people.” TBM will inaugurate a 30,000 tons/year plant north of Tokyo next year.