GREENWICH, CONN. — Global investment firm Strategic Value Partners, L.L.C. (SVPGlobal) has reached an agreement to acquire the food ingredient and ethanol businesses from Plano, Texas-based White Energy. The transaction includes two integrated plants in Russell, Kas., including the nation’s largest vital wheat gluten manufacturing facility and one of the nation’s most cost-efficient ethanol production facilities.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“As a long-term investor in White Energy, we are intimately familiar with the Russell facilities, which have a unique competitive position in the food ingredient and renewable energy markets,” said Victor Khosla, founder and chief investment officer at SVPGlobal. “We believe this business can be improved even further by focusing on Russell as a standalone operation.”
The vital wheat gluten facility in Russell has annual production capacity of 56 million lbs, making it North America’s largest producer of the ingredient, SVPGlobal said. Vital wheat gluten is a plant-based protein used as an ingredient in a number of food markets, including baked foods, pet foods, and vegetarian and vegan foods.
SVPGlobal said food ingredients produced at the Russell plant will continue to be sold under the Heartland brand name.
Meanwhile, the Russell ethanol facility has a production capacity of 55 million gallons per year. According to SVPGlobal, the plant is uniquely designed to consume the starch byproducts generated at the adjacent gluten facility and is rated as having the lowest carbon footprint of any facility of its kind in the United States by the California Air Resources Board.
“We are pleased to reach an agreement with SVPGlobal to purchase White Energy’s ethanol and gluten assets in Russell,” said Greg Thompson, chief executive officer of White Energy. “As a current investor, they know these facilities well and have the expertise and insight to continue moving this business forward.”
SVPGlobal was established by Victor Khosla in 2001. The firm has 114 employees, including 44 investment professionals, across its main offices in Greenwich, London and Tokyo.
Headquartered in Plano, White Energy produces biofuels, animal feed and food ingredients, with the capacity to produce approximately 300 million gallons of ethanol per year. White Energy owns and operates grain processing facilities in Texas and Kansas.