Technological watch

Hometown goes from stock trading curiosity to bioplastics investor

Bioplastics firm Makamer Inc. has merged with Hometown International Inc., a public company whose only business is a New Jersey delicatessen.

Los Angeles-based Makamer "specializes in creating 100 percent biodegradable plastics using hemp-polymers that are fully composable within days to months leaving no trace toxins or microplastics behind," according to the firm's website.

In October, Makamer received "a six-figure grant" from Canadian nonprofit research firm Mitacs. Makamer officials said the grant will fund research and development and bring additional research through postdoctoral internships at McMasters University in Hamilton, Ontario.

No production sites are listed on Makamer's website. Company officials could not be reached for comment. The new company will operate as Makamer Holdings Inc.

Makamer's advisory board includes former National Football League player Najee Goode. Goode also is the co-founder of mobile app technology firm Veepio.

According to published reports, investment firms — including Maso Capital Investments Ltd. of Hong Kong — acquired Hometown International for use as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The firm's only asset is Your Hometown Deli of Paulsboro, N.J. In SEC documents, Hometown International lists Woodstown, N.J., as its headquarters.

In 2021, Hometown International reported sales of a little more than $25,000 — all from the deli — and a loss of almost $500,000. But the firm's per-share stock price of $14 in early trading April 6 gave it a market capitalization of almost $110 million. Hometown International's per-share price was at $2 in early 2020.

The company has drawn attention and curiosity since hedge fund manager David Einhorn wrote about the disparity between the deli's sales and its valuation in April 2021.

Publication date: 06/04/2022

Plastics News


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.