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|Corn Products International Adds Stevia-Based, High-Intensity Sweetener to Its Ingredient Portfolio|
Company to Build New Production Facility in Brazil, Seek Additional Regulatory Approvals in US and Europe
WESTCHESTER, Ill., Apr 22, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Moving to broaden its global sweeteners platform for the food and beverage industries, Corn Products International, Inc. (NYSE:CPO) today announced the addition of a high-intensity, low-calorie sweetener derived from the stevia plant to its growing specialty ingredients portfolio.
Corn Products has entered into a long-term agreement with Morita Kagaku Kogyo Company Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, for the exclusive license of its patented stevia strain, manufacturing technology and stevia production, along with global marketing and distribution rights.
The ingredient, to be marketed under the brand name Enliten(TM), is a naturally occurring, low-calorie sweetener. Enliten(TM) has a very high content of Rebaudioside A, the stevia component with the best taste profile, and a sweetening power ranging from 300 to 400 times that of sugar. Enliten(TM) is designed to provide a clean, sweet taste in a variety of foods and beverages, unlike the bitter licorice taste commonly associated with some other forms of stevia.
"Consumers worldwide are looking for a new, low-calorie sweetener solution that tastes good," said Sam Scott, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Corn Products International. "Based upon customer and consumer responses to date, we believe Enliten(TM) meets this profile very well."
Corn Products intends to achieve supply and quality consistency through an integrated supply chain, including the use of the patented plants in the Northern and Southern hemispheres to optimize supply across growing seasons. Contracted farmers in Brazil began initial growth of the stevia plant for Corn Products more than a year ago.
"In addition to current access to Morita's production in Japan, Corn Products is committing about $20 million to begin construction this year of a dedicated plant in Brazil, with a year-end 2009 completion date, to meet expected growth in customer demand," Scott said. "Enliten(TM) will be marketed in select Latin American and Asian countries, where the sweetener is already approved for use in food."
Corn Products will file for regulatory approval of Enliten(TM) in the US, a process that is expected to take several years to complete, and is evaluating filings in Europe.
"While the commercialization and production scale-up of Enliten(TM) is not expected to make a significant contribution to our revenues in the near-term," Scott said, "this is another initiative we are taking to lay the groundwork for longer-term, profitable growth."
Scott said Enliten(TM) and the agreement with Morita fits well with Corn Products' strategy to expand its value-added ingredients portfolio through multi-geographic alliances, joint ventures and acquisitions. As an example, he cited the Company's acquisition of a family of sugar-free, reduced calorie polyol sweeteners in the US and Brazil in early 2007.
"Morita is a pioneer in the development of several stevia plant varieties, including patented varieties in the US and Japan," Scott said. "Our agreement combines Morita's 30 years of experience with stevia and Rebaudioside A with Corn Products' global operating footprint and decades of local and regional marketing knowledge and strong customer partnerships. We are excited about the commercialization prospects for Enliten(TM) in the years ahead."
About the Company
Corn Products International is one of the world's largest corn refiners and a major supplier of high-quality food ingredients and industrial products derived from the wet milling and processing of corn and other starch-based materials. The Company, headquartered in Westchester, Ill., is a leading worldwide supplier of dextrose and a major regional producer of starch, high fructose corn syrup and glucose. In 2007, Corn Products International reported record net sales and diluted earnings per share of $3.4 billion and $2.59, respectively, with operations in 15 countries at 35 plants, including wholly owned businesses, affiliates and alliances. For more information, visit www.cornproducts.com.
This news release contains or may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Company intends these forward looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for such statements. These statements include, among other things, any predictions regarding the Company's future financial condition, earnings, revenues, expenses or other financial items, any statements concerning the Company's prospects or future operation, including management's plans or strategies and objectives therefor and any assumptions underlying the foregoing. These statements can sometimes be identified by the use of forward looking words such as "may," "will," "should," "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "project," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "continue," "pro forma," "forecast" or other similar expressions or the negative thereof. All statements other than statements of historical facts in this release or referred to in this release are "forward-looking statements." These statements are subject to certain inherent risks and uncertainties. Although we believe our expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, stockholders are cautioned that no assurance can be given that our expectations will prove correct. Actual results and developments may differ materially from the expectations conveyed in these statements, based on various factors, including fluctuations in worldwide markets for corn and other commodities, and the associated risks of hedging against such fluctuations; fluctuations in aggregate industry supply and market demand; general political, economic, business, market and weather conditions in the various geographic regions and countries in which we manufacture and/or sell our products; fluctuations in the value of local currencies, energy costs and availability, freight and shipping costs, and changes in regulatory controls regarding quotas, tariffs, duties, taxes and income tax rates; operating difficulties; boiler reliability; our ability to effectively integrate acquired businesses; labor disputes; genetic and biotechnology issues; changing consumption preferences and trends; increased competitive and/or customer pressure in the corn-refining industry; the outbreak or continuation of serious communicable disease or hostilities including acts of terrorism; and stock market fluctuation and volatility. Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and we do not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of the statement. If we do update or correct one or more of these statements, investors and others should not conclude that we will make additional updates or corrections. For a further description of these risks, see Risk Factors included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q or 8-K. This news release also may contain references to the Company's long term objectives and goals or targets with respect to certain metrics. These objectives, goals and targets are used as a motivational and management tool and are indicative of the Company's long term aspirations only, and they are not intended to constitute, nor should they be interpreted as, an estimate, projection, forecast or prediction of the Company's future performance.
Corn Products International, Inc.