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DGAP-News: Burcon NutraScience Corp. / Key word(s): Financing
Merit Functional Foods Expanding Production Capacity
Vancouver, May 4, 2020 / - Burcon NutraScience Corporation ("Burcon") (TSX:BU, OTCQB:BUROF), a global technology leader in the development of plant-based proteins, is pleased to announce that its joint venture company, Merit Functional Foods Corporation ("Merit Functional Foods" or "Merit") has secured a debt financing package of up to $85 million of capital from a syndicate of lenders including Export Development Canada, Farm Credit Canada and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
"We are thrilled with Merit's decision to expand production capacity at Merit's state-of-the-art plant protein production facility currently under construction," said Johann F. Tergesen, Burcon's president and chief executive officer, adding, "We are equally thrilled that Merit has arranged such a substantial debt funding package."
Merit Functional Foods is building a 94,000 square foot production facility in Winnipeg to produce high quality pea and canola proteins. The state-of-the-art facility, which is scheduled to be completed in Q4 2020 will be the only commercial facility in the world with the capability to produce food grade canola proteins. This financing will support Merit Functional Foods' growth plans and allow for expansion of their pea and canola protein production capacity.
Merit's product portfolio currently consists of three product family offerings: pea protein, non-GMO canola protein, and MeritPro(TM), a unique lineup of nutritionally complete protein blends. Its entire portfolio aligns with a number of consumer label preferences, including allergen-free, gluten-free, non-dairy, non-GMO, and vegan.
Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian companies of all sizes succeed on the world stage. EDC's mandate is to support and develop Canada's export trade by helping Canadian companies respond to international business opportunities including those in the cleantech and agriculture sectors. As Canada's largest financier of clean technologies they provide insurance and financial services, bonding products and small business solutions to Canadian exporters and investors and their international buyers while adhering to a commitment to sustainable and responsible business.
Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is also a federal Crown corporation and Canada's leading agriculture and food lender, with a loan portfolio of more than $38 billion. FCC provides flexible, competitively priced financing, specifically designed for the agriculture and food industries.
To facilitate the financing, Burcon has provided a short-term letter of credit in the amount of $6.5 million, which will remain in place until no later than September 30, 2020, and also provided a $4 million guarantee of Merit's debt obligations.
About Burcon NutraScience Corporation
Burcon is a global technology leader in the development of plant-based proteins. With over 280 issued patents and more than 260 additional patent applications, developed over a span of more than twenty years, Burcon has grown an extensive portfolio of composition, application, and process patents covering novel plant-based proteins derived from pea, canola, soy, hemp, sunflower seed and more. In 2019, Merit Functional Foods Corporation was established in a joint venture by Burcon and three veteran food industry executives. Merit Foods is building a state-of-the-art protein production facility in Manitoba, Canada, where it will produce, under license, Burcon's novel pea and canola protein ingredients. For more information visit www.burcon.ca.
Forward-Looking Information Cautionary Statement
04.05.2020 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.