Monsanto to Acquire Seminis
Monsanto Co. announced Jan. 24 that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Seminis for $1.4 billion in cash and assumed debt, plus a performance-based payment of up to $125 million payable by the end of fiscal year 2007.
The addition of Seminis will be an excellent fit for our company as global production of vegetables and fruits, and the trend toward healthier diets has been growing steadily over the past several years, said Hugh Grant, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Monsanto. Seminis is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this fast-growing segment of agriculture, and the acquisition likewise expands Monsantos ability to grow. We look forward to furthering the growth and leadership position established by Alfonso Romo and his team as the Seminis business is an important extension to our agricultural seeds platform.
Seminis is the global leader in the vegetable and fruit seed industry and their brands are among the most recognized in the vegetable-and-fruit segment of agriculture. Seminis supplies more than 3,500 seed varieties to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, dealers, distributors and wholesalers in more than 150 countries around the world.
Ten years ago, we established Seminis with the vision of building the worlds market leader in the vegetable and fruit seed industry. Through the support of our management team, we successfully built a research and marketing platform to serve growers, food companies and consumers, said Alfonso Romo, current chairman and chief executive officer of Seminis. I believe Seminis can continue to realize this vision and achieve its full potential as part of Monsanto. We are bringing a complementary technology base and specialized expertise that can not only support economic growth for farmers, but contribute to the health and nutrition of consumers on a global scale.
Bruno Ferrari, currently the president and chief operating officer of Seminis, will continue to lead Seminis, which is expected to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Monsanto upon completion of the acquisition. The Seminis business will report into Brett Begemann, executive vice president for Monsanto.
In its 2004 fiscal year, Seminis reported annual sales of $526 million. This is a strong performing seed business that is generating good returns and has solid growth prospects, Grant said. In the medium-term, there is strong potential for the Seminis business to benefit from the breakthroughs our people have made in plant breeding.
In addition to Seminis leading presence in the vegetable and fruit seed industry, which is expected to contribute to Monsantos financial results in the near-term, Monsanto management sees additional benefits longer term. From a technology perspective, Monsanto intends to continue on the path taken by Seminis for its business, which is to focus on developing products via advanced breeding techniques.
Longer term, biotechnology applications could be an option, and will be evaluated in the context of Monsantos research-and-development priorities and potential commercial business opportunities.
For more information, visit www.monsanto.com.