Bunge to sale its stake in algae joint venture to Corbion

US – Corbion has confirmed that it was in talks with Bunge to acquire Bunge’s stake in SB Renewable Oils joint venture.

During the release of its fourth quarter results, Bunge hinted that they were in late stage of discussions to sell their interest in the renewable oils venture to its partner, Corbion.

Corbion and Bunge are 50.1%/49.9% which operates a facility in Brazil specialized in production of algae ingredients.

According to a spokesperson from Corbion, the trigger for the talks was due to the fact that Bunge was planning to make changes to its portfolio following the announcement of its fourth quarter results.

Corbion produces lactic acid, lactic acid derivatives, emulsifiers, functional enzyme blends, minerals and vitamins and the acquisition with no doubt complements their interest and expectation in the algae business.

Bunge and TerraVia set up the plant at one of Bunge’s biggest sugar mills in Sao Paulo state and have been working on maximizing output since 2014 when it opened.

The plant mixes fermented algae with refined sugar to produce a feed rich in docosahexaenoic omega-3 fatty acid.

Talking to The World of Food Ingredients, senior vice president food at Corbion, Ruud Peerbooms said that other acquisitions and innovations would drive growth and presents a potential market for meat alternatives.

He added that to get the lion’s share of this market, one has to be active in alternative proteins.

In addition to the TerraVia business, which deals in DHA enrichment for feed, ther portfolio will deliver all kinds of alternative proteins.

“Today their DHA business is fully-scaled, through their joint venture with Bunge, with DHA-rich algae that is mainly used in the aquaculture space. All of the rest is still in development,” said Ruud Peerbooms.

In September 2017, Corbion acquired all the operations of TerraVia, the previous stakeholder giving it a stake in the SB Renewable Oils joint venture.

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