WESTCHESTER, ILL. — Ingredion Inc. is acquiring a 75% stake in stevia supplier PureCircle, Inc., Chicago. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
“PureCircle is a widely recognized innovator with a proven track record for producing great-tasting, plant-based stevia,” said James P. Zallie, president and chief executive officer of Ingredion. “Ingredion’s successful and global go-to-market model combined with our formulation expertise will be highly complementary with PureCircle’s capabilities.”
The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and it is expected to close in the second half of 2020.
“We at PureCircle are glad to have found a strong partner in Ingredion who shares our mission of encouraging healthy diets around the world and being the preferred supplier of high-purity, great-tasting stevia ingredients for the global food and beverage industry”, said Peter Lai Hock Meng, CEO of PureCircle.
The acquisition comes shortly after Dato Robert Cheim Dau Meng, who was appointed chairman of PureCircle on Feb. 10 gave a business update on March 31 that disclosed past accounting irregularities had left the company pressured by debt.
“This has been a difficult time for PureCircle,” Mr. Cheim Dau Meng said. “The company’s systems and governance have been found wanting, and whilst I have only recently taken over as chairman, I would like to apologize to shareholders. Over the last six months PureCircle changed its management team, refreshed the board and started to put in place the controls necessary to ensure that similar errors do not occur in the future.”
PureCircle’s board had been considering a variety of options to raise capital, including refinancing, securing new equity infusion or a sale and lease buyback of the company’s processing facilities.