Benson Hill Acquires Iowa Soy Processing Plant

Cindy Zimmerman

Benson Hill, Inc. today announced the acquisition of ZFS Creston, LLC, an established food grade white flake and soy flour manufacturing operation in southwest Iowa for approximately $102 million. The investment fulfills a final step in Benson Hill’s ability to convert its proprietary soybeans into value-added soy protein ingredients for the underserved human and pet food categories.

“The acquisition of ZFS Creston, combined with our proprietary Ultra-High Protein 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,” said Matt Crisp, Chief Executive Officer of Benson Hill. “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.”

The Creston operation is equipped to produce soy meal and oil, as well as food-grade soy white flake, flour, and grits, which can be marketed as ingredients or used as raw material for further production of concentrates, isolates and textured protein products. Acquiring the soy white flake capacity of Creston in lieu of building the capacity through capex investment positions the Company to immediately offer more sustainable ingredients within the broad human food market, which includes plant-based meat, meat extension, bakery, cereal and snack, fermentation and the pet food market. Further, Benson Hill’s identity preservation program leverages deep farmer relationships to provide traceable and more sustainable ingredients for both existing and new customers. The Creston, Iowa facility is also geographically complementary to Benson Hill’s soy crushing facility acquired last year in Seymour, Indiana.

Benson Hill representatives held a conference call to talk about the acquisition. Participating in the call were:
Ruben Mella, Senior Director, Investor Relations; Matt Crisp, Chief Executive Officer; Bruce Bennett, President, Ingredients; and DeAnn Brunts, Chief Financial Officer.

Benson Hill news call (21:09)

Audio, Food, Soybean