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Benson Hill Takes on Soy Flour Manufacturer for $102M

Image courtesy of Benson Hill Screen Shot 2021-07-20 at 2.33.32 PM.png
The acquisition of ZFS Creston LLC expands the company’s portfolio of plant-based protein ingredients.

Biotechnology and food ingredients supplier Benson Hill said Tuesday that it purchased ZFS Creston LLC, a food grade white flake and soy flour manufacturing plant in Creston, IA, for $102 million, positioning the firm to increase its processing capacity for plant-based protein ingredients.   

“The acquisition of ZFS Creston, combined with our Ultra-High Protein proprietary soybean varieties, positions Benson Hill to deliver a portfolio of improved ingredients as an innovative unlock to bottlenecks in the rapidly growing, but capacity-constrained, plant-based movement,” Benson Hill’s chief executive officer, Matt Crisp, said in a company release. “This acquisition advances our integrated business model as a more efficient route to market with a. smaller footprint that better aligns with consumer preferences, enabling us to harness the genetic potential of plants and help scale the growth of plant-based markets.”

ZFS Creston has production capabilities for soy white flake, flour and grits, as well as soy meal and oil. The acquisition of the soy white flake capacity expands Benson Hill’s ability to serve the human food ingredient market, including plant-based meat, bakery, snacks, and cereal, and the pet food ingredient market.

“The Creston operation is expected to accelerate commercialization through the immediate ability to produce our ingredient portfolio,” said Bruce Bennett, president of Ingredients for Benson Hill, in a statement. “The investment also enables deeper insight to customer preferences as we deliver much-needed innovation in other high-value food ingredients in the future. ZFS Creston is an established protein supplier with a respected and knowledgable team on-site.”

Benson Hill is financing the transaction through a $100 million committed debt facility and cash on hand.

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