At the end of 2015, Benemilk had its first Primafat ingredient order. Benemilk is no longer a pre-revenue company. First patents were obtained in 2015.
Main events in 2015
• In addition to the licensing model, Primafat ingredient sales-based business model was established in spring 2015.
• First Primafat order at the end of 2015; Benemilk is no longer a pre-revenue company.
• First patents were obtained in 2015 in South Africa.
• Benemilk is examining conditions and opportunities to obtain new financing.
Benemilk Ltd is a joint venture based in Finland and set up in April 2013 by Raisio and Invention Development Fund, managed by Intellectual Ventures. The initial aim of Benemilk Ltd was to develop and strengthen the intellectual property rights portfolio related to the Benemilk® invention and to commercialise the invention for global markets.
Raisio's group company Nordic Feed Innovation Oy owns 75% and Intellectual Ventures 25% of the joint venture. Raisio's holding in Nordic Feed Innovation Oy is 76% while Finnish Food Chain Development Oy's share is 24%. Raisio owns 57% of Benemilk Ltd. Raisio published a funding round launched by Benemilk in November 2015.
Raisio reports the operations of Benemilk Ltd as its own company and part of the Brands Division. Benemilk had no net sales in 2015. Raisioagro has a royalty-free, exclusive license to the Benemilk invention and its future applications in Finland and Northwest Russia. Benemilk feed sales in Finland and Northwest Russia are reported as part of Raisioagro's figures.
Development work to expand and strengthen Benemilk's IPR continued. Benemilk portfolio already has almost 30 patent families. Benemilk's initial patents were granted first in South Africa. Elsewhere, patents applications are still pending, as usual interim decisions and requests for further information lengthen processing times. Processing of patent applications is, however, progressing as planned.
In addition to the Benemilk's licensing model, a new business model based on Primafat ingredient sales was established in the spring 2015. The model is based on various feeding concepts. The ingredient business is based on the sale and marketing of palm oil-based raw material under the Primafat trade mark and related IPR.
Benemilk Ltd assessing new financing options
In November 2015, Raisio announced that Benemilk Ltd is examining conditions and opportunities to obtain new financing for, on the one hand, launching of the ingredient business created in 2015 and, on the other, developing its licensing business. Taking into account the latest trends in the dairy chain, the ingredient business is considered to have wider opportunities than the licensing business to succeed in global markets. The assessment concerns both debt and equity alternatives. If the assessments lead to a financing arrangement involving equity in part or in full, it could mean that Raisio's Benemilk holding would decrease below 50 per cent. Furthermore,
Benemilk would no longer be part of Raisio Group as a subsidiary.The assessment related to new financing options is expected to be completed in such a way that Benemilk could decide on the implementation of the financing arrangements, and also implement possible arrangements, by the summer 2016.