Elian Barcelona, part of US company Viserion International, has signed an agreement to acquire Barcelona's Cargill plant located in the Port of Barcelona, dedicated to milling soybeans, a process based on the extraction of flour and oil from this oilseed.
Viserion International and its subsidiaries are backed by a fund managed by Pinnacle, a New York-based alternative asset management firm focused on global commodities markets. Viserion International's investment in Barcelona is the Group's first international investment in Europe.
The soybean crushing facility plays a vital role in the globally integrated supply chain that serves the Catalan, Spanish, and European food and feed ingredient sectors. Elian Barcelona aims to expand the plant's capabilities to produce a wider variety of sustainable and innovative food and specialty feed ingredients, including concentration and textured protein. This expansion will help to support the delivery of farm-to-food products across European and Mediterranean markets. The current staff at the facility will keep their jobs, and Elian Barcelona plans to increase the plant's headcount by expanding its production activities.
“Our project places Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain in a strategic logistical position in the transit of raw materials for the agri-food industry in Europe”
Andrés Martín, CEO and founder of Elian Barcelona
Greater strategic autonomy in Southern Europe
The new Elian Barcelona plant's activity is a strategic development for the agri-food value chain. Europe only has two soybean concentration and texturization plants in Serbia and the Netherlands.
Currently, texturized, concentrated, and protein isolates are mostly imported from the United States, China, and South America, which increases costs and makes sustainability and traceability difficult.
The project will create a European Union operator, make the market more flexible, and provide Barcelona with a key industry in the agri-food sector. It will also generate new regional investments and make the existing infrastructure more strategic and resilient to potential disruptions in global supply chains.
Elian Barcelona is led by Barcelona-born Andrés Martín as CEO and founder, who stated: "We are proud to acquire and advance this important Catalan processing plant as we build a more resilient food system across Europe,” “Sustainability is our core foundational value, and we believe that this strategic asset – coupled with Viserion’s scale, resources, and expertise – will allow us better to align our services with consumers and food system trends, enhance European food security, and resist supply chain disruptions. We are grateful to Catalonia’s public institutions, including Catalonia’s Government and Acció-Catalonia Trade & Investment, for their support, and we look forward to innovating healthier and more reliable ingredient solutions through this plant for a more sustainable world."
The CEO of Elian Barcelona has also highlighted as strengths of his choice the quick access to a leading global agro-livestock sector, as well as the active dialogue that has existed with the Government of Catalonia to approach the second phase of the expansion project.
Aaron Wiegand, Chief Executive Officer of Viserion International, commented, “The acquisition of this strategically located plant, integral to Catalonia’s food supply, deepens Viserion International’s long-term commitment to the European market. We look forward to leveraging our strong U.S. infrastructure and dedicated, experienced team to expand the Viserion platform organically and opportunistically and further grow our international grain and food product handling and trading business.”
Jason Kellman, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Pinnacle, added, “We believe that the addition of this crushing facility is a compelling opportunity to expand the Viserion platform to accelerate its continued investment in the critical European feed and food product supply chain. Pinnacle welcomes the Elian Barcelona group and looks forward to continuing to support the Viserion team by sharing our deep sector expertise and years of experience managing physical commodities and merchanting businesses.”
About Elian Barcelona
Founded in Barcelona in January 2021 with 100% Catalan capital, Elian Barcelona aims to contribute to the planet's sustainability through more sustainable, healthier, and higher-quality food. It aims to develop a strategic project to build a sustainable European vegetable protein infrastructure.
The company is 100% owned by Viserion International. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado (USA), it produces and markets grain and other feed ingredients and co-products internationally. With rapid growth in recent years, Viserion owns and operates facilities and sales offices in the U.S. and Europe, with over $4 billion in annual sales and more than 700 employees. Viserion is owned by Pinnacle Asset Management, an asset management firm focused on global commodity markets and trading over $5.9 billion in assets under management.
The combination of Viserion International and Elian Barcelona directly integrates fundamental commodity origins, industrial expertise, human capital, and global vision.
Source: Elian Barcelona