Wide Open Agriculture (ASX: WOA) will pay $4.12 million to acquire the assets of German lupin protein producer Prolupin GmbH and gain an immediate operational footprint in Europe.
The move is expected to transition Wide Open into the world’s largest lupin protein producer and open up commercial opportunities for the company in the region.
The terms of the deal will see Wide Open acquire an advanced manufacturing facility in Grimmen; patents to produce the Prolupin protein isolate; an inventory of finished Prolupin protein products; Prolupin’s “Luve” trademark; and a supply of raw materials, including lupins.
Funding for the acquisition will be via a Wide Open capital raising which is yet to be finalised and launched.
Wide Open confirmed plans to upgrade the manufacturing facility to produce its plant-based Buntine Protein Concentrate for the European market.
The facility has a current production capacity of 500 tonnes per annum of lupin protein concentrate and will be modified to output approximately 1,000tpa of Buntine Protein after an investment of up to $5 million within 24 months.
Commercial-scale production is expected within six months of the acquisition and positive cashflow from Buntine Protein sales will fund future improvements at the facility.
Wide Open’s chief executive officer Jay Albany said the acquisition of Prolupin would allow for entry into the coveted European market.
“Our key goal as a company has been to bring Buntine Protein to market as quickly and cost efficiently as possible,” he said.
“This acquisition grants us immediate commercial production capacity in Europe, [which is] a dynamic environment for the development of plant-based protein products… it represents a giant leap forward for our company, our shareholders and the industry at large.”
Mr Albany said the Prolupin deal aligned with Wide Open’s corporate growth plans.
“It is a testament to our ambitious growth strategy and commitment to leading the shift towards sustainable, plant-based nutrition,” he said.
“By integrating Prolupin’s decades of expertise and innovative technologies, we will be able to meet potential Buntine Protein demand faster and with a much lower capital investment.”
Prolupin has been a global market leader in lupin protein isolate production for 25 years.
Established through the acquisition of patents generated from the renowned Fraunhofer research institute in 2010, the company has built significant manufacturing capabilities in Germany and crafted products with a range of commercial applications in the plant-based dairy sector.
Mr Albany said Prolupin’s existing ventures into alternative meat products and sports nutrition would provide “fertile ground” for Wide Open to further its reach and influence in the plant-based sector.