Plant-Based Meat Proteins Get $22 Billion Biotech Firm’s Backing
(Bloomberg) -- Novozymes A/S, the world’s largest industrial biotechnology company, is betting on more growth in the plant-based meat market.
The Danish company said Thursday it will invest 2 billion kroner ($316 million) in a new production line north of Omaha, Nebraska, after entering into a long-term contract with an unidentified “key player in the plant-based industry.” The firm raised the low end of its full-year forecasts after second-quarter earnings beat estimates, driven in part by growth in its food and beverage business.
“We are answering one of the most pressing needs of the society, which is how are we feeding a world population in a more sustainable way,” Chief Executive Officer Ester Baiget said in a phone interview. “We are masters in fermenting catalytic proteins and now we’re unleashing those capabilities also into the space of novel proteins.”
Baiget joined Novozymes from Dow Inc. just before the pandemic hit last year, complicating efforts to revive revenue growth. In a separate interview with Bloomberg Television on Thursday, she said the company is seeing a recovery in the North American bioethanol market as lockdowns end and car usage increases.
Novozymes shares rose as much as 3% to an intraday record, boosting the company’s market value to about $22 billion. The stock is up about 41% this year.
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