US chemicals group DuPont has acquired full ownership of soy ingredients maker Solae from joint-owner Bunge for around US$440m.

DuPont previously owned 72% of the joint venture while agribusiness giant Bunge owned the remaining 28%.

There were reports in September last year that Solae’s owners had started to examine options for the business, which the two companies set up in 2003. However, the companies had declined to comment.

DuPont executive VP James Borel said today (1 May): “This investment in Solae, along with the acquisition of Danisco last year, has significantly added to our leadership position in food ingredients. Solae’s scientific expertise and market leadership in soy is a critical element in our plans to enhance the quality and quantity of food for a growing global population.”

Solae, which is based in the US city of St Louis, makes ingredients for food manufacturers in sectors including the bakery and dairy industries.

Bunge CFO Drew Burke said the sale enables it to “redeploy capital” into its core businesses.

“Solae has created great value during the past nine years, and is well-positioned for future success,” he added.