Cargill and Japanese polymer producer Teijin Limited have formed a joint venture for NatureWorks LLC, maker of NatureWorks biopolymer, derived from 100% renewable resources. According to the agreement, Teijin will acquire 50% ownership of NatureWorks, effective upon regulatory approvals.
The move comes as NatureWorks expands to the nameplate capacity of its U.S. polylactic acid (PLA) plant, the world’s first and largest commercial scale biopolymer manufacturing facility. Cargill and Teijin will accelerate NatureWorks’ global sales growth and facilitate product expansion in the broad plastics and fibers markets served by NatureWorks.
“Teijin's downstream application knowledge in fibers, films and plastic compounds will be of immeasurable value as we grow production at our Blair, NE facility and consider additional expansion in the fast-growing global marketplace,” said Cargill vice chairman Guillaume Bastiaens. “NatureWorks will greatly benefit from Teijin’s expertise in technology and end use application development. Teaming up with Teijin will allow more brand owners, retailers and converters to address their global interest in sustainable solutions using NatureWorks biopolymer.”
NatureWorks LLC’s headquarters and management team will remain in Minnetonka, MN. No changes in senior management are anticipated.