Cargill, Teijin, partner in joint venture for NatureWorks

by Staff
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MINNEAPOLIS — Cargill and Teijin Ltd. have announced a joint venture in NatureWorks L.L.C., which makes NatureWorks biopolymer.

Teijin, a Japanese company, will acquire 50% ownership of NatureWorks, and the partnership will help NatureWorks to expand the nameplate capacity of its U.S. polylactic acid plant.

Both companies will help NatureWorks grow global sales and facilitate product expansion in the broad plastics and fibers markets.

"Teijin’s downstream application knowledge in fibers, firms and plastic compounds will be of immeasurable value as we grow production at our Blair, Neb., facility and consider additional expansion in the fast-growing global marketplace," said Guillaume Bastiaens, vice-chairman of Cargill. "NatureWorks will greatly benefit from Teijin’s expertise in technology and end-use application development. Teaming up with Teijin will allow more brand owners, retailers and converters to address their global interest in sustainable solutions using NatureWorks biopolymer."

NatureWorks has attained triple-digit volume growth since 2005 and has more than 100 leading brands and retailers in the U.S., Europe and Asia that are currently showcasing product innovations in flexible and rigid fresh food packaging, durable consumer articles and beverage packaging among other markets.

"Today’s announcement marks another milestone for the world’s first and largest commercial biopolymer manufacturer," said Dennis McGrew, NatureWorks c.e.o. "Teijin sought to invest in NatureWorks because it recognized our leadership in an area important to them and to their customers. Cargill agreed to partner with Teijin because it recognized the opportunity to tap into the expertise and global reach of one of the world’s leading polymer companies."

NatureWorks’ headquarters will stay in Minnetonka, Minn., and no changes in senior management are currently anticipated.

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