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Burcon: Q1 value still mostly from outside operations

By Maggie Hennessy , 19-Aug-2014
Last updated on 20-Aug-2014 at 15:01 GMT

Burcon: Q1 value still mostly from outside operations

Functional plant protein supplier Burcon reported total revenues of just $25,000 in the fiscal first quarter of 2015, derived mainly from deferred royalty payments from ADM for Clarisoy sales. 

Such nominal revenues, consistent with the previous quarter and the same year-ago period, reflect the company’s ongoing transition to the commercial stage for its Peazazz “invisible” protein and the progress of ADM’s commercial rollout of the Clarisoy line of proteins.

The first quarter also saw the completion of Burcon’s oversubscribed rights offering of 1.8 million common shares for $5.25 million, with net proceeds of $5 million.

“In this quarter the largest value creation for Burcon’s business came from outside operations” said Johann Tergesen, president and chief operating officer of Burcon, in a statement. “Following recent M&A activity, analysts have become more confident in the top-end of their valuation analysis, particularly around the stand-alone value of the company’s value-added ingredients segment.”

ADM, Burcon’s exclusive manufacturing and marketing partner for Clarisoy, launched yet another version of the soy protein at this year’s IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in New Orleans, branded Clarisoy 170—a soy protein that is ideal for dairy protein replacement in applications such as neutral beverage systems with a pH of 7.0 or higher. With this launch and that of Clarisoy 180 (still under development), there will be a total of six versions of the soy protein—including high and low protein concentrations, a transparent option, high and low pH applications, and coffee creamer and dairy proteins substitutes.

Burcon also was granted the Clarisoy composition of matter patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office, marking the first Clarisoy composition of matter patent to be granted, which protects its commercially available attributes rather than the method by which it is produced. 

All told, Burcon received grants for three US patents, bringing the company’s patent portfolio to 192 issued patents in various countries, including 55 in the US, as well as more than 360 active patent applications, including 60 additional US patent applications.

Elsewhere, Burcon continued talks with potential partners for the production and marketing of pea protein isolate Peazazz during the past quarter, advancing discussions with “a number of key potential multi-national food ingredient providers about a royalty or a joint operations agreement,” it said. Last year, the supplier failed to reach a deal to commercialize Peazazz before the exclusivity period with the potential partner elapsed.

Meanwhile, ADM recently announced its plans to acquire Wild Flavors GmbH for US$3.1bn which, if completed, would significantly expand the firm’s specialty food ingredient offering.  ADM also announced the start of construction of its Campo Grande, Brazil Specialty Protein Complex in a recent earnings call.

“It has been a consumer-led ‘demand pull’ drive to the health and wellness trend, and now specialty ingredient processors and food and beverage companies are catching up” added Tergesen.  “We continue to see specialty ingredient companies driving to broaden their portfolio offerings in an effort to provide more of a one-stop formulation experience, especially in regards to taste, nutrition and texture.”