Green Dot Holdings buys MGP's bioplastics division

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Green Dot Holdings LLC Mark Remmert

COTTONWOOD FALLS, KAN. -- Bioplastics maker Green Dot Holdings LLC has acquired the bioplastics business of MGP Ingredients Inc. for an undisclosed price.

The acquisition includes a bioplastics plant in Onaga, Kan., and some research and development assets at MGP's headquarters in Atchison, Kan. MGP's main business is in grain-based food ingredients. The firm has made bioplastics since 2006 and last year commercialized a biodegradable resin that can be made from either corn or wheat.

Green Dot is based in Cottonwood Falls, Kan. The firm has developed a thermoplastic elastomer with more than 50 percent renewable material from plant starch. Toymaker BeginAgain Toys is using Green Dot's material in a play set and a teether.

Green Dot CEO Mark Remmert said the company plans to eventually make its own products at the 50,000-square-foot MGP plant. Green Dot has been using contract manufacturers to make its bioresins. The firm now has 10 full-time employees after gaining three in the acquisition.

The Onaga plant is about 90 miles away from Green Dot's headquarters in Cottonwood Falls. The R&D space in Atchison - which Green Dot will lease from MGP - also has a pilot-scale extruder that Remmert said can be used for small commercial runs of material.

The MGP bioplastics business has annual sales of about $3 million. Green Dot posted sales of just under $1 million in its first full year of operation in 2012.

Green Dot was founded in March 2011 by Remmert and several partners. He helped launch the firm after retiring in late 2011 after a 30-year career with Dow Chemical Co. and its Styron spinoff.

In a Feb. 12 phone interview, Remmert said Green Dot hopes to avoid some of the pitfalls that other bioplastics makers have faced.

"We're trying to take a smaller step and bring materials that are more plastic-like to processors without significant changes," he said. "These are materials that can use traditional plastic processing equipment."

The combined MGP/Green Dot bioplastics assets will be leveraged to capitalize on rapid growth predicted in the U.S. bioplastics market, he added.