Bayer to buy biopesticide maker for $425 million
by Eric Schroeder
MONHEIM, GERMANY — Bayer CropScience has agreed to purchase AgraQuest, Inc. for approximately €340 million ($425 million) plus milestone payments. Headquartered in Davis, Calif., AgraQuest is a supplier of biological pest management solutions based on natural microorganisms.
According to Bayer, the addition of AgraQuest will allow it to build a technology platform for green products — products that control pests and diseases and offer farmers integrated pest management programs to minimize development of resistance and maximize crop yields — and to strengthen its strategically important fruits and vegetables business, while also opening new opportunities in other crops and markets.
The announcement comes less than a month after Bayer entered into an agreement to acquire the watermelon and melon seed business of Abbott & Cobb, Inc., Feasterville, Pa.
“The growing fruits and vegetables market, which today accounts for more than 25% of our sales, is of strategic importance for us,” said Sandra Peterson, chief executive officer of Bayer CropScience. “We plan to achieve €3 billion sales in this segment by 2020 and with the acquisition of AgraQuest we are underlining our growth ambitions. We are the first in our industry to offer farmers a truly comprehensive range of integrated crop solutions based on seeds, traits and combined chemical crop protection and biological control.”
AgraQuest’s product portfolio includes established product brands such as Serenade, Rhapsody, Sonata and Ballad fungicides, and Requiem insecticides, which provide disease and pest control and will complement Bayer CropScience’s product offering. Through the acquisition, Bayer CropScience said it plans to integrate AgraQuest’s biopesticides production facility in Tlaxcala, Mexico, as well as the company’s R.&D. site in Davis. AgraQuest employs a total staff of approximately 250 full-time employees.
AgraQuest products are available in more than 30 countries, including Canada, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy.