Omaha ethanol producer buys majority interest in Cedar Rapids ag tech company – Des Moines Register

Omaha-based ethanol manufacturer Green Plains said Tuesday it purchased a majority interest in the Cedar Rapids company Fluid Quip Technologies, saying the deal will help the company expand production of new, high-protein products.

New York investment company Ospraie Management partnered in the purchase, Green Plains said in a statement. The companies declined to release the purchase price

Green Plains said Ospraie Management purchased 550,000 warrants, which are comparable to stock shares, at $22 each.

The price of Green Plains’ publicly traded shares rose 14% Tuesday on the news, climbing $1.81 to close at $14.62.

The partners said Fluid Quip Technologies would retain all of its 51 employees.

Denny Friest harvests corn from a field that was partially hit by the August 10th derecho on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020 in Hardin County.

Green Plains said the purchase enables the company to rapidly install technology that expands production of high-protein pet food, aquaculture and animal feed products at its facilities as well as offer the technology to other biofuel manufacturers.

Green Plains CEO Todd Becker said the partnership with Fluid Quip and Ospraie accelerates the company’s “transformation from a commodity-processing business to a value-add agriculture, food technology and industrial biotechnology company.”

“This partnership will help advance the installation of Ultra-High Protein technology across our platform, significantly increase our renewable corn oil production to participate in the growing low-carbon fuel markets and the renewable diesel value chain, further drive reduction of our operating expenses and significantly expand our product offerings,” Becker said in a statement.

Green Plains produces a byproduct from ethanol production called distillers grain, a livestock feed that experts say usually has about 27% protein. Green Plains says its Ultra-High Protein has protein content of at least 50%.

Green Plains says the technology will add value to the products that come from its biofuels facilities, two of which are located in Iowa — Superior and Shenandoah.

John Kwik, a partner of Fluid Quip Technologies, said the deal improves the company’s “growth trajectory and financial strength.”

“We will now be able to accelerate the development of revolutionary technologies that will drive transformational change to how agricultural products get used,” he said in a statement.

Donnelle Eller covers agriculture, the environment and energy for the Register. Reach her at deller@registermedia.com or 515-284-8457. 

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