SOURCE: RiceBran Technologies

April 03, 2013 08:00 ET

RiceBran Technologies and Wilmar International Ltd Enter Into Agreements to Develop Rice Bran Derivatives in China

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - Apr 3, 2013) - RiceBran Technologies (OTCQB: RIBT), a global leader in the production and marketing of value added products derived from rice bran, today announced that it has entered into a series of agreements to develop rice bran and its derivatives in China for human food ingredient and animal nutrition applications with various affiliates of Wilmar International Limited ("Wilmar"), Asia's leading agribusiness group.

RiceBran Technologies has licensed to Wilmar its patented and proprietary intellectual property and know-how for stabilizing and further processing rice bran, including technologies resulting from recent research and development efforts regarding extraction and concentration of protein from rice bran. Under the terms of the agreements, Wilmar has acquired certain rights and interests to use and develop such licensed intellectual property and know-how for production and commercialization of rice bran ingredients and derivatives in the People's Republic of China.

As part of the agreements, Wilmar will purchase two proprietary rice bran stabilization extruders designed and manufactured by RiceBran Technologies for use in the People's Republic of China. Payments by Wilmar for licensing rights and extrusion equipment will be used by RiceBran Technologies to repay obligations related to rice bran protein extraction development costs and for general operating purposes. In addition, RiceBran Technologies will have co-investment rights to purchase up to a 45% equity interest of any entity established in the People's Republic of China by Wilmar to commercialize the licensed intellectual property and know-how.

"We are excited to be partnering with the premier agribusiness group in Asia to accelerate the conversion of rice bran -- an underutilized, renewable and sustainable resource -- into high quality, nutritional ingredients for the food industry in the People's Republic of China," commented W. John Short, CEO & President of RiceBran Technologies. "Our company shares Wilmar's vision for environmentally conscious, sustainable growth in the production and commercialization of healthy foods for a growing global population."

China's annual rice output is about 185 million tons, or approximately one third of global rice production, with about 15 million tons of raw rice bran produced annually as a by-product of rice milling. At present, about 10% of raw rice bran production goes to production of rice bran oil for human food applications. The remaining rice bran is used as animal feed. RiceBran Technologies' stabilization and protein extraction IP will support greater conversion of rice bran into high quality animal nutrition, human food, functional foods and nutraceutical applications.

For additional information refer to RiceBran Technologies' related filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

About RiceBran Technologies

RiceBran Technologies is a human food ingredient and animal nutrition company focused on the procurement, bio-refining and marketing of numerous products derived from rice bran. RiceBran Technologies has proprietary and patented intellectual property that allows us to convert rice bran, one of the world's most underutilized food sources, into a number of highly nutritious human food ingredient and animal nutrition products. Our target markets are human food ingredients and animal nutrition manufacturers and retailers, as well as natural food, functional food and nutraceutical supplement manufacturers and retailers, both domestically and internationally. More information can be found in the Company's filings with the SEC and by visiting our website at www.ricebrantechnologies.com.

About Wilmar

Wilmar International Limited, founded in 1991 and headquartered in Singapore, is today Asia's leading agribusiness group. Wilmar is ranked amongst the largest listed companies by market capitalization on the Singapore Exchange.

Wilmar's business activities include oil palm cultivation, oilseeds crushing, edible oils refining, sugar milling and refining, specialty fats, oleochemicals, biodiesel and fertilizers manufacturing and grains processing. At the core of Wilmar's strategy is a resilient integrated agribusiness model that encompasses the entire value chain of the agricultural commodity processing business, from origination and processing to branding, merchandising and distribution of a wide range of agricultural products. It has over 450 manufacturing plants and an extensive distribution network covering China, India, Indonesia and some 50 other countries. The Group is backed by a multinational workforce of about 93,000 people.

Wilmar's portfolio of high quality processed agricultural products is the preferred choice of the food manufacturing industry, as well as the industrial and consumer food businesses. Its consumer-packed products occupy a leading share in its targeted markets. Through scale, integration and the logistical advantages of its business model, Wilmar is able to extract margins at every step of the value chain, thereby reaping operational synergies and cost efficiencies. Wilmar remains a firm advocate of sustainable growth and is committed to its role as a responsible corporate citizen.