Cargill Acquires Full NatureWorks Ownership From Teijin

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., July 1, 2009 – Cargill announced today that it will assume full ownership of NatureWorks LLC, as part of Teijin Limited’s general portfolio restructuring in response to the global economic downturn.  Previously a 50-50 joint venture, NatureWorks is now an independent company wholly owned by Cargill.

NatureWorks, maker of Ingeo™ biobased plastics and resins derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources, had operated as a Cargill-Teijin joint venture since October 2007.  It was the first biopolymers business with commercial scale for Teijin.  Teijin and Cargill officials indicated they are dissolving the joint venture in a friendly manner and intend to maintain close relations.

The ownership transfer will not affect day-to-day operations at NatureWorks.  CEO Marc Verbruggen indicated the company retains strong prospects for continued growth.  NatureWorks operates the only production facility of its kind with the economies of scale needed to compete with traditional oil-based plastics.  “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.”

Cargill officials said that establishing the business as an independent, wholly owned Cargill entity provides NatureWorks with the flexibility to pursue a wide range of opportunities.

“The green product space is ripe for investment and expansion as never before,” said Cargill Senior Vice President Paul Conway.  “As a green pioneer, NatureWorks is well established with a broad product and customer base.  While others put up pilot plants, NatureWorks has been commercial for six years, is increasing Ingeo™ production availability at its first facility and exploring possibilities for a second plant.  We've rounded the first turn while others are at the starting gate.”

Ingeo™ fibers and plastics are used by over 100 leading brands & retailers in the United States, Europe, and Asia.  Product innovations in broad plastics applications include flexible & rigid fresh food packaging, durable consumer articles, beverage packaging, and in fibers: apparel, home textile, personal care and hygiene applications.

About NatureWorks

Dedicated to meeting the world’s needs today without compromising the earth’s ability to meet the needs of tomorrow, NatureWorks LLC is the first company to offer a family of commercially available low carbon footprint polymers derived from 100-percent annually renewable resources with cost and performance that compete with oil-based plastics and fibers.  The production of these biopolymers uses less fossil fuel and emits fewer greenhouse gases than conventional polymers.  The company applies its proprietary technology to process natural plant sugars to make Ingeo™ biopolymer, which is then used uniquely to make and market finished products under the Ingeo™ brand name.  For more information, visit

About Cargill

Cargill is an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services.  With 160,000 employees in 67 countries, the company is committed to using its knowledge and experience to collaborate with customers to help them succeed.  For more information, visit


Ingeo and the Ingeo logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NatureWorks LLC in the USA and other countries.

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