USA- Benson Hill, a leading food tech company that harnesses the natural genetic diversity of plants, has successfully transferred ownership of its soybean crush facility in Seymour, Indiana to White River Soy Processing.
This landmark deal, valued at approximately US$36 million, marks the successful completion of Benson Hill’s Liquidity Improvement Plan.
The move is aimed at bolstering the company’s financial stability, reducing operational costs, and enhancing its liquidity position while maintaining strong partnerships with Indiana farmers.
Benson Hill CEO, Deanie Elsner, expressed confidence in the sale, stating that it will enable disciplined capital allocation and sharpen the focus on future growth.
“Benson Hill has the agility to persevere. Based on our ongoing strategic review, we believe the strengthening of our financial foundation, moving to an asset-light business model, and introducing our innovations into attractive broader end markets, is the most feasible path forward for Benson Hill,” said Deanie Elsner, Chief Executive Officer of Benson Hill.
While approximately 30 team members from the Seymour facility will become White River Soy Processing employees, the company remains committed to its farmer partners, as it will honor the 2023 and 2024 contracts with those delivering grain to Seymour.
This transaction was finalized on October 31, 2023.
Other updates streamline operations
In addition to this divestment, Benson Hill announced two other updates to its business.
First, Benson Hill has built its product pipeline via its proprietary germplasm and CropOS (an AI-based platform for predictive breeding).
The company sees potential in focusing on animal feed and pet food via several non-GMO, Ultra-High Protein low oligosaccharide (“UHP-LO”) commercial soybean varieties validating novel value-added attributes for poultry diets, swine rations, and pet food.
Commercially available proprietary soybean varieties and a future innovation pipeline give Benson Hill a first-mover advantage in animal feed and pet food. strategy to expand and diversify its proprietary product portfolio, improve nutrition security, and foster collaboration with industry partners within the food value chain.
Secondly, Elsner’s permanent appointment as CEO is effective immediately after being in an interim position for the last few months.
“In her first few months as Interim CEO of Benson Hill, Deanie has demonstrated a keen understanding of the market complexities and has uncovered ways to leverage the strength of CropOS and the company’s unparalleled innovation pipeline,” said Dan Jacobi, Chairman of the Benson Hill Board of Directors.
“We appreciate her willingness and enthusiasm to lead the company on this journey, and the Board has every confidence that Deanie is the right person to take Benson Hill into its next phase of growth and keep the company on solid financial footing.”