Benson Hill, Inc. (“Benson Hill” or the “Company”), a food technology company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants with its cutting-edge food innovation engine, today announced the completion of its previously announced business combination with Star Peak Corp II (NYSE: STPC) (“Star Peak”).
Concurrent with the closing, Star Peak changed its name to “Benson Hill, Inc.” Benson Hill’s common stock and warrants are expected to commence trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols “BHIL” and “BHIL.WS,” respectively, on September 30, 2021.
“Completing the business combination with Star Peak is a critical milestone on our journey to leverage our CropOS technology platform and our integrated business model to build a healthier and climate resilient food system,” said Matt Crisp, Chief Executive Officer of Benson Hill. “I am proud of the work accomplished by our great team at Benson Hill and the unwavering commitment from our investors and other stakeholders across the food value chain.”
“We are ready to begin the next phase of our growth with an expanded shareholder base. Since announcing this transaction, we have continued to build momentum and are taking bold and innovative actions to be the ‘picks and shovels’ of the rapidly growing plant-based food revolution. This event provides Benson Hill with more resources to deliver on our acceleration plan to shape the future of food with more sustainable, nutritious and affordable food choices for consumers.”
Mike Morgan, Chairman of Star Peak, commented, “We are excited to complete this business combination with Benson Hill, a category-defining food-tech company that’s the first of its kind to go public. With its CropOS food innovation engine, well-capitalized balance sheet and pure-play ESG investment characteristics, Benson Hill is ideally positioned for rapid growth as it powers the plant-based food revolution and plays a near-term foundational role in meeting the fast-growing demand for plant-based meat alternatives. We look forward to our continued partnership with Matt and the exceptional Benson Hill team to drive significant long-term value for all stakeholders.”
The business combination was unanimously approved by Star Peak’s board of directors and approved by Star Peak stockholders at a Special Meeting on September 28, 2021.
The transaction provides approximately $319 million in gross proceeds to the Company including $94 million of cash from Star Peak’s former trust account and $225 million of cash from an oversubscribed and upsized fully committed common stock PIPE.
Benson Hill intends to use the proceeds from the transaction to provide balance sheet strength and flexibility to attack large and growing domestic and international markets, extend leadership position and commercial scale in plant-based ingredients, invest in additional proprietary data for CropOS, expand product portfolio, and build synergistic channels and partnerships to accelerate growth and profitability. All of Benson Hill’s shareholders have rolled 100% of their ownership stakes into the new company.
Benson Hill’s current leadership team will lead the combined company, with Matt Crisp continuing as CEO. The newly combined company plans to expand its Board of Directors beginning with the appointment of Craig Rohr, Senior Managing Director at Magnetar Capital, a leading alternative asset manager with members serving as Star Peak Corp II’s sponsor.
Recent Results Demonstrate Strong Momentum Across Key Growth Initiatives
• Acquired soybean crushing facility from Rose Acre Farms enabling commercialization and scaling of Benson Hill’s Ultra-High Protein soybean ingredients through the Company’s integrated business model;
• Achieved strong financial results with a 28%, quarter-over-quarter, increase in Q2 2021 revenues to $39.7 million, an increase of 47% on a normalized basis1. Revenue growth in the Ingredient Segment was 28% to $23 million and increased 64% on a normalized basis1. The Company is beginning to commercialize a portfolio of proprietary soybean seeds and products that are higher in protein, have the benefits of omega-9 fatty acids, and low anti-nutrients;
• Delivered 133% growth in proprietary soybean acres – 70,000 contracted acres for 2021 crop year exceeded target of 60,000 acres;
Launched advanced yellow pea breeding and commercialization program, shortening the development cycle for proprietary genomic innovation in one of the fastest growing protein sources for plant-based meat alternatives;
• Launched the Food System Innovators program, expanding collaboration with farmers to leverage advanced innovative technologies and optimize outcomes using the Company’s proprietary CropOS platform;
• Crop Accelerator on track to open by the end of 2021, which is expected to enable breeding cycle times up to two times faster than traditional cropping methods.
1 Benson Hill sold a non-core barley business in late 2020, which generated revenues of $4 million in Q2’2020. See the Company’s second quarter earnings press release (Q2 Earnings Release) for more details..
Food Made Better from the Beginning
• Food technology leader: Benson Hill is a category-defining company unlocking the natural genetic diversity of plants to lead the plant-based food revolution for more nutritious, sustainable and affordable food and ingredient choices.
• Proprietary CropOS platform: Combines artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and a variety of advanced breeding techniques with data science, plant science and food science to deliver new crops optimized for nutrition, flavor and yield, with the potential to shave years off the traditional crop breeding process.
• Integrated business model: Starting with the seed and then working with farmers and food supply chain partners to commercialize and broadly scale food and ingredients that meet consumer demand for more wholesome and sustainable food choices.