Food

Benson Hill expanding with soybean plant acquisition



ST. LOUIS — Benson Hill, Inc. has announced plans to acquire a soybean crushing facility from Seymour, Ind.-based Rose Acre Farms. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Benson Hill said the investment represents “a significant milestone” in the execution of the company’s growth plan and further solidifies its position in the value chain to support production of a robust portfolio of proprietary, non-GMO, identity-preserved and sustainable soy protein and oil ingredients for the human food and animal feed markets. The investment will be funded through the expansion of Benson Hill’s debt facility with Western Technology Investment, the company said.

“The acquisition of the Rose Acre Farms soybean crushing facility represents an important next step in the execution of our playbook for growth,” said Bruce Bennett, president of ingredients at Benson Hill. “This targeted investment can ultimately provide the production capacity to deliver on our integrated business model for commercialization and scaling of our innovative soybean products, including Ultra-High Protein soybean ingredients.”

Benson Hill said the facility will ultimately have the capacity to process its proprietary soybean varieties to serve the rapidly growing global plant protein market, including the first commercial plantings of its Ultra-High Protein soybeans, which will be harvested this fall. Benson Hill recently announced it exceeded its target to double contracted soybean acres, delivering a 133% year-over-year increase for the 2021 growing season. The facility will also continue to serve existing customers.

“This milestone reflects continued momentum to advance our vision for a more modern, resilient and sustainable food system, starting with seed that is better from the beginning,” said Matt Crisp, chief executive officer of Benson Hill. “Coupling production capacity like this with genomic innovation unlocks enormous value for both farmers and consumers beyond what has been possible through the traditional commodity system.”

In December 2020, Benson Hill sought out Rose Acre Farms as a partner to develop a processing facility in close radius to its grower partners.

Tony Wesner, chief operating officer of Rose Acre Farms, said the company is excited to have found the right buyer for its soy processing assets.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Benson Hill and believe they will continue to be a valuable member of our community,” Mr. Wesner said. “We expect this transaction will result in value to our local farmers, particularly as opportunities for Benson Hill’s network of farmer partners continues to expand.”



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