Wide Open Agriculture (WOA) has acquired the assets of Prolupin GmbH, a leading European lupin producer, for $4.2 million ((e)2.5m), positioning it to become one of the world's largest lupin producers and granting it immediate commercial scale manufacturing capabilities.
Prolupin, with 25 years of experience, specialises in lupin protein isolate production, having applications primarily in the plant-based dairy sector.
The acquisition enables Wide Open Agriculture to gain an immediate operational footprint in Europe via Prolupin's advanced manufacturing facility in Germany, which will be modified to produce Buntine Protein and is expected to reach production of 1000 tonnes per year.
Wide Open Agriculture will focus on a B2B-centric approach post-acquisition, leveraging Prolupin's established B2B network in the European plant-based dairy alternative market to supply large global ingredient and food manufacturing companies.
Spanning more than 25 years, Prolupin has been the global market leader in lupin protein isolate production.
Established through the acquisition of patents generated from the renowned Fraunhofer institute in 2010, its has built significant manufacturing capabilities in Germany and crafted products that have a wide range of commercial applications, particularly in the plant based dairy sector.
Wide Open Agriculture chief executive officer Jay Albany said this was a pivotal moment in the company's journey.
"The acquisition of Prolupin is testament to our ambitious growth strategy and commitment to leading the shift towards sustainable, plant-based nutrition.
"By integrating Prolupin's decades of expertise and innovative technologies, we are able to meet potential Buntine Protein demand faster."
This is a giant leap forward for WOA, our shareholders and the industry at large."
The acquisition offers WOA an immediate operational footprint in Europe through Prolupin's state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Germany.
WOA expects commercial scale production of Buntine Protein within six months, rapidly moving up its timeline for global launch.
With a growing pipeline of potential customers, WOA expects indicative demand of more than 400 tonnes per annual (tpa), meaning it can enter the Prolupin facility with high utilisation.
The facility is then expected to reach 1000tpa production of Buntine Protein with modest investment ($3-$5 million) within one to two years.
Expected positive cashflow from initial Buntine Protein sales will potentially fund the investment required to expand production.
Through this acquisition, Wide Open Agriculture is set to emerge as the foremost global lupin producer and acquire an experienced engineering team with decades of plant-based protein experience.
Prolupin's technology will also diversify and enhance Wide Open Agriculture's lupin product catalogue, with the capability to produce protein-rich lupin isolates, a versatile protein concentrate in wet form and a nutritionally enriched lupin oil.
Prolupin also has an established reputation and its foothold in the European plant-based dairy alternative market, and Wide Open Agriculture aims to harness its B2B network.
Prolupin's existing ventures into alternative meat products and sports nutrition also provide fertile ground for WOA to further its reach and influence in the plant-based sector.
With more than 150 samples of Buntine Protein sent to large global ingredient and food manufacturing companies, the acquisition will give Wide Open Agriculture the ability to supply potential groups with commercial scale quantities.
Prolupin's 'LUVE' consumer brand which is on shelves across Europe, also offers Wide Open Agriculture multiple strategic options.
These range from potential licensing agreements with third-party stakeholders to an outright sale or even its discontinuation.
The ultimate objective is to ensure a streamlined supply of B2B sales contracts for the Germany facility and bolster future production capacities.
The asset purchase price includes the production facility assets, the patents to produce the Prolupin protein isolate, the Luve trademark, existing stock of lupins and other raw materials.
The remaining balance is allocated to goodwill.
The acquisition is conditional on final approval at the meeting of creditors, to be held this week.
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