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7-Business: Bunge and DuPont form soy protein biotech joint venture

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TITLE:  Bunge, DuPont form new biotech JV in St. Louis
SOURCE: St. Louis Business Journal, USA, by Beth Miller
DATE:   Jan 6, 2003

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Bunge, DuPont form new biotech JV in St. Louis

DuPont Protein Technologies and Bunge Ltd. have formed a St. Louis-based 
joint venture to produce and distribute specialty food ingredients, develop 
biotech soybeans and more products and services for farmers.

To form the joint venture, called Solae LLC, DuPont will contribute its 
Protein Technologies food ingredients business for a majority interest in 
Solae. Bunge, in exchange for its specialty food ingredients business, will 
get a 28 percent interest in Solae plus about $260 million in cash, and the 
right to increase its stake to 40 percent, the companies said in a joint 

In a conference call, executives with Bunge and DuPont said the joint 
venture would presumably be housed in Protein Technologies' headquarters in 
St. Louis, and that the joint venture would have "a very positive effect on 
St. Louis."

Solae is expected to focus on soy ingredient products to better fit 
customer needs, including textured vegetable proteins, soy concentrates and 
isolates and specialty lecithins. The joint venture will combine the two 
companies' efforts in production, sourcing, marketing and distribution on 
four continents, providing better opportunities to expand capacity and 
production, the companies said.

The companies said the joint venture is expected to have more than $800 
million in global revenue annually.

Stephan Tanda, currently president of DuPont Protein Technologies, will be 
chief executive of Solae, and Theodore Fox III, currently controller of 
Bunge, will be chief financial officer.

In an interview, Tanda said the two companies are still working out details 
on how many employees the joint venture will have in St. Louis.

Protein Technologies will continue to have research and development and 
administrative locations in both St. Louis and Fort Wayne, Ind., but keep 
its headquarters in St. Louis, he said. Protein Technologies has been 
looking for a new location for several months, and Tanda said they will 
continue to explore a new location or may remain on the campus of Nestle 
Purina PetCare. The company has about 450 employees in St. Louis, about 
half in research and development and the other half in business 
administration, Tanda said.

Tanda said the joint venture would allow it to enter some new product 
lines, including lecithins, used in food, animal feed and industrial 
applications, as well as soy protein concentrate and textured soy protein. 
"This joint venture will allow us to offer a broader product line to 
customers," he said. "It's a great way to increase customers.

"It will also allow us to work with the food companies to help bring more 
and more great tasting mainstream soy products on the market," he said. He 
said a new soy milk product called Eighth Continent will be on the market 
in St. Louis later this year.

Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont Agriculture and Nutrition is made up of 
DuPont Protein Technologies in St. Louis, DuPont Crop Protection, Pioneer 
Hi-bred International Inc. and DuPont Qualicon.

White Plains, N.Y.-based Bunge Ltd., is a food distributor and the largest 
processor of soybeans in the Americas. The company's North American 
operations are based in St. Louis.


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