Syngenta announced that it has acquired Società Produttori Sementi (PSB), one of Italy’s oldest seed companies and a leader in durum wheat breeding and production for pasta.

PSB was established in the province of Bologna in 1911, and its durum wheat varieties are grown on more than 330,000 hectares. In addition to its headquarters and a 430-hectare farm, PSB has breeding programs in other crops such as common wheat and alfalfa.

Syngenta will preserve the century-old PSB brand and know-how, which will continue to be synonymous with top-quality Italian durum wheat production. This will enable growers in Italy and in other countries to meet increasing demand for pasta – a global market valued at $16 billion.

Syngenta Chief Operating Officer, John Atkin, said: “PSB combines the quality, tradition and innovation which are the hallmarks of the ‘Made in Italy’ brand. Its unrivalled durum wheat breeding expertise and its links to the food industry will be complemented by Syngenta’s leading-edge cereals R&D and global presence. Together we will accelerate innovation in high-quality durum wheat production, helping more growers prosper in the competitive Italian market as well as supporting international expansion.”

The two companies also share a strong commitment to sustainable agriculture demonstrated by PSB’s “From Seed to Pasta” initiative, which complements Syngenta’s recently launched The Good Growth Plan.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.