Cargill’s NatureWorks Receives $150M Investment

Until now, the bioplastics manufacturer has been wholly owned by Cargill-but a Thai company has bought a 50 percent stake in the company.

NatureWorks, LLC, a Minnetonka-based bioplastics manufacturer, on Wednesday announced that it has received a $150 million investment from PTT Chemical Public Company Limited, a chemical producer headquartered in Thailand.

NatureWorks' Ingeo polymer is derived from sugars in corn and used to make products including plastic cups, food containers, apparel, home textiles, and personal care items. More than 100 brands and retailers in the United States, Europe, and Asia currently offer low-carbon-footprint products based on NatureWorks' Ingeo polymer, the company said.

Until now, NatureWorks has been wholly owned by Wayzata-based Cargill, Inc., Minnesota's largest private company.

According to a report by the Pioneer Press, PTT Chemical's investment will buy it a 50 percent stake in NatureWorks. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

“This is a significant investment by a leading chemical company, which will allow NatureWorks to continue its aggressive growth while expanding its capacity to meet global demand for bio-based products,” NatureWorks President and CEO Marc Verbruggen said in a statement.

Verbruggen also said that the PTT Chemical investment supports Natureworks' plan to build a new production facility in Thailand, which it expects to have operational in 2015, and the company expects “to announce further details on this expansion later this year.”