Vancouver, British Columbia, June 12, 2019 — Burcon NutraScience Corporation (TSX: BU), a global leader in developing functionally and nutritionally valuable plant-proteins, is pleased to introduce the investor group and joint venture partner for its new $65 million pea-protein and canola-protein production facility to be built in Western Canada. The investor group is made up of Shaun Crew, Barry Tomiski and Ryan Bracken, three exceptionally talented veterans of the agri-foods industry. The three are proven entrepreneurs, most notably demonstrated by the rapid growth and highly successful sale of Hemp Oil Canada Inc. (“HOCI”). Originally founded by Shaun Crew in 1998, HOCI grew to become the world’s largest producer and processor of bulk hemp food products and ingredients. The investor group’s association with HOCI ended with the recent acquisition of FHF Holdings Ltd. (the parent company of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods including HOCI) by Tilray Inc, one of the largest and most sophisticated producers of medical cannabis in the world.
“We are thrilled to have partnered with Barry, Ryan and Shaun to bring Burcon’s unique plant proteins to the world directly as a producer,” said Johann F. Tergesen, Burcon’s president and chief executive officer, adding, “They are proven entrepreneurs with an exceptional track record of delivering results and building value for their shareholders. We are confident that they will be outstanding partners, as well as disciplined and skilled operators.”
As previously disclosed, the investor group has committed to contribute up to $16 million of the joint venture’s required funding. Burcon expects to contribute $8 million of the joint venture’s required funding and own 40% of the joint venture company.
Barry Tomiski and Ryan Bracken will serve as co-CEOs and directors of the joint venture company. Shaun Crew, Johann Tergesen, Burcon’s chief executive officer and Jade Cheng, Burcon’s chief financial officer will also serve as directors of the joint venture company. The joint venture company, which the partners intend to rebrand as Merit Functional Foods Corporation (“Merit Foods”), has entered into a royalty-bearing licence agreement with Burcon for the production, sale and distribution of Burcon’s pulse proteins, including Peazazz® and Peazac™ pea proteins, as well as Supertein®, Puratein® and Nutratein® canola proteins. Also, and as previously announced, Burcon will be responsible for the technology transfer to Merit Foods and will also provide assistance, under contract, to support the design, construction and commissioning of the commercial protein production facility.
An industry pioneer, Shaun founded Hemp Oil Canada Inc in 1998 and built HOCI to be the worldwide leader in hemp food ingredients. Shaun was involved in every facet of the hemp industry. Shaun was one of the founding members of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA) where he has served as a director and president. He also served as vice president of the Hemp Industries Association and was an active member of the European Industrial Hemp Association. Shaun has also served on the Ste Agathe Community Development Board of Directors for over 20 years.
Barry brings over thirty years of experience in the Agri-Foods industry. Most recently, Barry served as the chief operating officer for Manitoba Harvest, leading a 100+ member operations team, with sales of approximately $100M. Barry spent 8 years with the Manitoba Harvest/Hemp Oil Canada organization, growing from a small footprint start-up to the largest branded and ingredient-focused hemp food company in the world. Prior to the hemp industry, Barry held sales and operations leadership roles at Cargill and Maple Leaf Foods. Barry is currently a director of the Manitoba Food Development Center.
Ryan Bracken, P. Eng.
A professional engineer, Ryan brings 18 years of experience in food manufacturing. Most recently, Ryan acted as vice president of innovation for Manitoba Harvest, where Ryan led the R&D and product development team. Ryan joined the Manitoba Harvest/Hemp Oil Canada organization seven years ago, where he led the financing, development and commissioning of Hemp Oil Canada’s 40,000 sf world-class manufacturing facility. Prior to joining the hemp industry, Ryan spent 11 years in the animal protein industry, leading and coaching small to large organizations through continuous improvement rollouts. Ryan is currently a director of Food & Beverage Manitoba.
About Burcon NutraScience Corporation
Burcon is a leader in developing functionally and nutritionally valuable plant proteins. The company has developed an extensive portfolio of composition, application, and process patents originating from a core protein extraction and purification technology. Burcon’s family of plant proteins includes Peazazz®, a uniquely soluble and clean-tasting pea protein, Puratein®, Supertein® and Nutratein® canola proteins with exceptional functionality and valuable nutritional profiles, and Nutratein-PS™ and Nutratein-TZ™, Burcon’s new pea and canola protein blends that have exceptional functional characteristics, low allergenicity, and a nutritional value exceeding those of standard pea proteins in the market today. Burcon’s CLARISOY® soy protein — under license to the Archer Daniels Midland Company — offers clarity and high-quality protein nutrition for low-pH beverage systems, and excellent solubility and exceptionally clean flavour at any pH. For more information about the company, visit www.burcon.ca.
The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy of the content of the information contained herein. This press release contains forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements or forward-looking information involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performances, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward- looking statements or forward-looking information can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “project,” “estimate,” “expect,” “believe”, “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “could”, “will” and similar references to future periods. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this release are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding expectations, intentions and plans contained in this press release. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements or information. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Burcon’s plans and expectations include the actual results of business negotiations, marketing activities, adverse general economic, market or business conditions, regulatory changes and other risks and factors detailed herein and from time to time in the filings made by Burcon with securities regulators and stock exchanges, including in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Burcon’s annual information form dated June 18, 2018 filed with the Canadian securities administrators on www.sedar.com. Any forward-looking statement or information only speaks as of the date on which it was made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, Burcon disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Although Burcon believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and accordingly, investors should not rely on such statements.
CLARISOY is a trademark of Archer Daniels Midland Company.
Manager, Business Development
Burcon NutraScience Corporation
Tel (604) 733-0896, Toll-free (888) 408-7960
Steve Campbell, APR
Campbell & Company Public Relations
Tel (604) 888-5267