Vancouver, British Columbia, April 6, 2023 — Burcon NutraScience Corporation (“Burcon” or the “Company”) (TSX: BU), a global technology leader in the development of plant-based proteins for foods and beverages, today announced that it continues to be engaged in the due diligence process to acquire the assets of Merit Functional Foods (“Merit”).
Burcon has been in discussions with the appointed receiver, PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc, LIT. (“Receiver”), about the sales process since Merit was placed into receivership on March 1, 2023. According to the sales process summary document filed by the Receiver on March 27th, qualified offers are to be submitted to the Receiver on or before April 21st with the Receiver determining the accepted offer by April 28th. A finalized definitive agreement with the accepted bidder is expected to be executed on or before May 12th and court approval obtained by May 26th. Burcon continues to conduct due diligence and is furthering its efforts to put forth a compelling bid to the Receiver. As Burcon expects there to be other competing bids, there is no assurance that Burcon’s bid will be accepted by the Receiver. The Company expects to provide further communications to shareholders when there is a material development with respect to Merit’s sales process.
Parallel to capitalizing on this Merit opportunity, Burcon continues to execute on its three strategic themes:
Burcon’s ongoing partnership discussions continue to progress with its strategic themes in mind. Relative to new markets, Burcon has recently completed commercial validation runs of its next generation plant protein innovation. This is a crucial milestone to opening new market opportunities and increasing Burcon’s relevance to a more expansive prospective partner list. The next steps are to evaluate routes to market, including through Merit’s assets, contract manufacturing and/or partnerships. Moreover, Burcon has completed a thorough review of its intellectual property (“IP”) portfolio to validate its relevance to today’s market and optimize its IP investment without sacrificing protection. Further, the review enabled Burcon to identify new market opportunities across the growing food ecosystem. The Company expects to provide more details as it executes on these initiatives.
Burcon benefits from a growing consumer market that continues to be driven by a shift towards plant-based eating. Consumers are seeking more-than-ever food and beverage products that are better-for-you and better-for-the-planet. On top of a growing market, investments into the food and agtech space, particularly in the past five years, have created a vibrant food ecosystem offering expansive partnering opportunities. Burcon believes that it is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the next wave of plant-based growth.
About Burcon NutraScience Corporation
Burcon is a global technology leader in the development of plant-based proteins for foods and beverages. Our proteins exhibit superior functionality, taste and nutrition, making them ideal ingredients for food formulators. With over two decades of experience, Burcon has amassed an extensive patent portfolio covering its novel plant-based proteins derived from pea, canola, soy, hemp and sunflower seeds, among other plant sources. Burcon is striving to become a vertically integrated provider of specialty plant-based protein solutions that deliver on health, nutrition and sustainability. Supporting the growing trend towards a plant-based diet, Burcon is developing premium protein ingredients that we believe are better for you and better for the planet. For more information, visit www.burcon.ca.
Forward-Looking Information Cautionary Statement
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 including whether Burcon will be able to present a competitive bid to the Receiver, whether Burcon’s bid will be accepted by the Receiver and whether it will be able to achieve its new strategic initiatives. 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 included in this release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. 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 implementation of our business model and growth strategies; trends and competition in our industry our future business development, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to obtain financing cost-effectively; potential changes of government regulations; 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 for the year ended March 31, 2022 and its other public filings with Canadian securities regulators on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of the Company’s forward-looking statements or information. Any forward-looking statement or information speaks only 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 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.
Industry and Investor Contact
Director, Investor Relations
Burcon NutraScience Corporation
Tel (604) 733-0896, Toll-free (888) 408-7960
Steve Campbell, APR
Campbell & Company Public Relations
Tel (604) 888-5267