01 July 2009 16:08 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Cargill will assume full ownership of US biopolymers producer NatureWorks, dissolving a 50-50 joint venture with Japan’s Teijin, the US agribusiness and trading firm said on Wednesday.
The move comes as Teijin restructures its general portfolio in response to the global economic downturn, both companies said.
NatureWorks, which produces Ingeo bio-based plastics and resins, had operated as a Cargill-Teijin joint venture since October 2007.
NatureWorks CEO Marc Verbruggen said the ownership transfer would not affect day-to-day operations, and said the company has strong prospects for continued growth. Financial terms of the move were not disclosed.
"We like our position right now," said Verbruggen. "While the economic downturn slowed sales growth, we still show growth, which can't be said of many conventional materials today.
“Sales have notably rebounded since January - a clear demonstration that the Ingeo product traits and environmental advantages are important to customers, even in times of lower oil prices,” he added.
NatureWorks operates the only bio-based plant of its kind with the economies of scale needed to compete with traditional oil based plastics, he said.
Both Cargill and Teijin said the joint venture was dissolved “in a friendly manner” and that the companies intended to maintain close relations.
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