ST. LOUIS – Benson Hill, a food technology and ingredient company, is going public in a combination with Star Peak Corp. II, a special purpose acquisition company. The transaction is expected to provide Benson Hill with approximately $625 million.
Benson Hill’s CropOS platform uses predictive analytics to simulate genetic outcomes for plants. The technology has the potential to shorten the traditional crop breeding process and reduce development costs for new food and ingredient products, according to the company.
Benson Hill has two business units – Ingredient and Fresh. The Ingredient unit is currently focused on generating soybean and yellow pea ingredients to be used in the development of plant-based products. In soy, Benson Hill is working with growers to scale production of Ultra-High Protein soybean varieties in 2021, which can reduce processing costs and water and energy usage. In yellow pea, the company has developed a genomic map that, in combination with the CropOS platform, enables Benson Hill to accelerate its breeding program to develop differentiated varieties.
The Fresh business unit focuses on produce. The company seeks to develop and commercialize different varieties of fruits and vegetables as well as products that may have functional attributes.
“Since our founding in 2012, we have developed our CropOS technology platform to combine data science, plant science, and food science, a truly differentiating convergence of disciplines,” said Matt Crisp, chief executive officer of Benson Hill. “As a result of this technology innovation and our go-to-market approach, we are now at the launch phase to deliver and help meet the explosive demand for plant-based ingredients that can displace processing steps, reduce additives, and serve as the ‘picks and shovels’ for the plant-based food revolution.”
The company generated $102 million in 2020. The Ingredients business unit is expected to deliver annual top-line growth of 50% to 100%, according to the company.
“We believe Benson Hill is at the epicenter of the evolution in our food system, with a business model that’s capable of materially transforming the sector by accelerating novel products’ paths to market and scale,” said Eric Scheyer, CEO of Star Peak.
Following the close of the transaction Benson Hill will have a valuation of approximately $1.35 billion.