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
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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