Company retires senior convertible debt earlier than planned.

February 15, 2024

2 Min Read

Benson Hill Inc., an ag tech company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants, announced this week that it has successfully retired its senior debt facility and divested its Creston, Iowa, soy processing business to White River Soy Processing (WRSP) for gross proceeds of $72 million. These actions align with Benson Hill’s commitment to disciplined liquidity management and asset efficiency as the company transitions to an asset-light business model backed by world-class soybean germplasm and competitively advantaged technology.

The Creston transaction closed Feb. 13, 2024, and is a pivotal step for Benson Hill as it sharpens its focus on core growth areas. The company also retired its senior convertible debt earlier than planned. As previously communicated, the company intended to retire the debt facility by March 1, 2024, having paid down about half of its senior loan in November 2023.

“This divestiture supports our strategic plan to reshape our organization and transition to an asset-light business model with an expanded focus on animal feed markets,” said Deanie Elsner, chief executive officer of Benson Hill. “More importantly, exiting our ownership and operation of soy processing assets strengthens our balance sheet with lower capital and operating expenditures, while allowing us to thoughtfully allocate resources to leverage our core competencies as a technology-enabled, seed innovation company.”

Elsner continued: “We know WRSP leadership well and have confidence that they will operate the facility with the highest industry standards and a customer-centric approach. We sincerely appreciate the hard work of the Creston employees as they increased throughput at the facility to unprecedented levels. We thank them for their contributions to Benson Hill.”

As a result of the purchase, Benson Hill has transferred to WRSP ownership and all operations related to the Creston soy processing facility, including the established customer base. Approximately 55 team members at Creston will continue employment under the new ownership. The Creston plant is equipped to produce soy meal and oil, as well as food-grade soy white flake, flour, and grits.

A specialty oilseed processor based in Omaha, Neb., WRSP also separately purchased Benson Hill’s Seymour, Ind., crush assets in October 2023.

Management plans to discuss these developments in greater detail during Benson Hill’s fourth quarter earnings call on March 14, as previously announced.

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