FRANKFURT, July 4 (Reuters) - Bayer’s CropScience agricultural arm acquired California-based peer AgraQuest Inc for a price of $425 million plus milestone payments, German parent group Bayer said in a statement late on Tuesday.
The purchase of AgraQuest, a supplier of biological pest management solutions based on natural microorganisms, will enable Bayer CropScience to expand its green product offering that minimizes development of resistance.
The target company’s current product portfolio includes well-established product brands such as Serenade, Rhapsody, Sonata and Ballad fungicides and Requiem insecticides.
“The growing fruits and vegetables market, which today accounts for more than 25 percent of our sales, is of strategic importance for us. We plan to achieve 3 billion euros ($3.78 billion) of sales in this segment by 2020 and with the acquisition of AgraQuest we are underlining our growth ambitions,” said Bayer CropScience Chief Executive Sandra Peterson.
“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,” she added.
Peterson said AgraQuest would build up the company’s existing biological pest control portfolio centred on the biological roundworm-killer Votivo, and would allow further leverage of the Athenix Corporation acquisition.