22 November 1999
Monsanto to buy into RiceX

By FWi staff

LIFE sciences giant Monsanto is thought to be considering buying a 20% share in fellow American food technology company RiceX.

This is expected to be one of two new transactions by RiceX intended to wipe out US$7 million (£4,3m) of debt, reports the Sacramento Business Journal.

While RiceX has not commented on the reports, market experts say Monsanto is expected to convert an existing $5 million interest-free loan to RiceX into one-fifth ownership of the company.

The loans RiceX is settling are due today (Monday).

The company uses proprietary technology to stabilise rice bran that would otherwise get spoiled in processing. The result can be used in cereals, baked items, animal feed and food supplements.

Sales in 1999 are said to have jumped 15% over last year, potentially leading the company to break even this year.

Third quarter figures arent available yet, but RiceX lost $1m on revenue of $1.82m in the first six months of 1999.

A year earlier it had lost $2.3m on revenue of $1.54m