Benson Hill Achieves Successful Retirement of Term Loan Facility, Sells Iowa Processing Operation for $72 Million

An agricultural technology firm dedicated to unlocking the innate genetic diversity of plants has proudly announced the successful retirement of its senior debt facility and the divestment of its Creston, Iowa soy processing business to White River Soy Processing (WRSP) for a substantial sum of $72 million. This strategic move reflects Benson Hill’s steadfast commitment to prudent liquidity management and optimized asset utilization, marking a pivotal transition towards an asset-light business model bolstered by premier soybean germplasm and cutting-edge technology.

The transaction concerning Creston was finalized on February 13, 2024, representing a significant milestone for Benson Hill as it refines its focus on core growth sectors. Furthermore, the company managed to retire its senior convertible debt ahead of schedule. Originally slated for retirement by March 1, 2024, approximately half of the senior loan was repaid by November 2023.

Deanie Elsner, Chief Executive Officer of Benson Hill, remarked, “This divestiture is a strategic step towards reshaping our organization and embracing an asset-light business model with an enhanced emphasis on animal feed markets. By relinquishing ownership and operational responsibilities of soy processing assets, we fortify our balance sheet with reduced capital and operational expenditures, while strategically reallocating resources to maximize our strengths as a technology-driven innovator in seed development.”

Elsner continued, expressing confidence in WRSP’s stewardship of the Creston facility, stating, “We are familiar with WRSP’s leadership and trust their ability to uphold the highest industry standards and prioritize customer satisfaction. We extend our gratitude to the Creston employees for their dedication in elevating facility throughput to unprecedented levels and thank them for their contributions to Benson Hill.”

With the completion of the acquisition, WRSP assumes ownership of the Creston soy processing facility along with all associated operations and clientele. Approximately 55 employees from Creston will retain their positions under the new ownership. The facility is adept at producing soy meal and oil, as well as food-grade soy white flake, flour, and grits.

WRSP, headquartered in Omaha, Neb., specializes in processing specialty oilseeds and had previously acquired Benson Hill’s crush assets in Seymour, Ind., in October 2023.

Further details regarding these developments will be discussed in depth during Benson Hill’s fourth-quarter earnings call on March 14, as previously announced. For additional information, please visit [source].

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