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Ag-Tech Firm Benson Hill Announces $2 Billion Deal And Plans To Go Public

Benson Hill
Matt Crisp is the co-founder, president and CEO of Benson Hill.

St. Louis-based Benson Hill is merging with an Illinois company that acquires private firms and takes them public.

The multibillion-dollar deal with Star Peak Corp. II will help accelerate Benson Hill’s approach to coming up with less-processed plants that are more affordable to grow. The company develops the technology using artificial intelligence, machine learning and gene editing technologies like CRISPR.

Benson Hill points to soybeans and yellow peas that could be key ingredients in the emerging market for meat alternatives, which is expected to grow to $140 billion by the end of the decade.

“But that still will only represent about 10% of the total meat market,” Benson Hill CEO Matt Crisp told investors during a call shortly after the deal was announced Monday morning.

The Wall Street Journal reported the deal Sunday night.

Star Peak sees Benson Hill as a key player in a changing market to help meet global food demands.

“We believe Benson Hill is the epicenter of the evolution in our food system,” said Eric Scheyer, Star Peak's chief executive officer, in a statement.

The combined company will keep the Benson Hill name once it goes public under the ticker symbol “BHIL.”

The plant technology company was founded in 2012 and has roughly 300 employees, most of whom are based in the St. Louis area.

Wayne is the morning newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.

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