WESTCHESTER, ILL. — Ingredion, Inc., via its PureCircle Ltd. subsidiary, will become the exclusive global business-to-business commercialization partner for Amyris’ sugar reduction technology under an agreement between the two companies announced May 3. The agreement includes Amyris’ fermented Rebaudioside M sweetener, which has no calories.
The transaction’s value was estimated at $100 million, which included $75 million for Ingredion’s exclusive license to sell and market Reb M from fermentation plus a contribution for participating in a Brazil manufacturing joint venture. Ingredion will have a minority ownership stake in an Amyris’ manufacturing facility under construction in Brazil. Amyris will receive a profit share from Reb M sales.
The two companies will enter a collaboration to develop sustainably sourced, zero-calorie, nature-based sweeteners and potentially other types of fermentation-based food ingredients. Amyris will continue to own and market its Purecane consumer brand of tabletop and culinary sweetener products.
“We are excited by the addition of this breakthrough ingredient to our sugar reduction portfolio, which complements our PureCircle stevia product line and will allow us to provide our customers with the broadest selection of nature-based, high-intensity sweeteners on the market,” said James P. Zallie, president and chief executive officer of Westchester-based Ingredion. “Our partnership with Amyris positions Ingredion well to meet our customers’ increasing demand for quality ingredients that will drive transformational change in the food industry.”
Last year Ingredion acquired PureCircle, a producer of plant-based stevia sweeteners and flavors for the food and beverage industry.
The fermentation process used by Amyris, Emeryville, Calif., to create Reb M involves sugarcane and specialty crafted yeast. Reb M also may be extracted from the stevia plant and is the sweetest part of the stevia plant, but that extraction process is more costly than the fermentation process used by Amyris, according to Amyris.
“We are very much looking forward to this new partnership,” said John Melo, president and CEO of Amyris. “Ingredion’s sales channel, global reach and commercial capabilities will complement our leadership in developing, scaling and producing some of the best clean, sustainable molecules in the world. Our business model is delivering on the promise of synthetic biology. Ingredients, such as Reb M from fermentation, create significant value and enable us to support the continued growth in our consumer business while maintaining our sector leadership in the supply of natural, sustainably sourced, ingredients.”
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.