Syngenta announced it has agreed to acquire Pasteuria Bioscience, Inc., a U.S.-based biotechnology company.
Since 2011 Syngenta and Pasteuria have had an exclusive global technology partnership to develop and commercialize biological products to control plant-parasitic nematodes, using the naturally occurring soil bacteria Pasteuria spp.
A revolutionary in-vitro production process will enable the development of cost-effective nematicides with a novel mode of action. The first product will be a seed treatment for soybean cyst nematode to be launched in the U.S. in 2014.
Under the terms of the agreement, Syngenta will acquire Pasteuria Bioscience for aggregate payments of $86 million, with additional deferred payments of up to $27 million.
Nematodes are a major pest across all crops and the withdrawal of older solutions leaves growers with limited solutions. The acquisition will facilitate the introduction of key products to complement Syngenta's existing chemical nematicide range and to support integrated solutions across a broad variety of crops such as soybean, corn, cereals, sugarbeet and vegetables.
John Atkin, COO of Syngenta, said: "Results from our partnership have shown that Pasteuria provides superior control of nematodes in a wide variety of applications. Pasteuria Bioscience has developed critical knowhow for in-vitro production of Pasteuria, enabling commercial scale manufacturing. This is a further example of our strategy of incorporating biological controls within our integrated offer to growers".
Al Kern, executive chairman and president of Pasteuria Bioscience, said: "Pasteuria Bioscience is excited to become part of the Syngenta team. We've been working closely together over the past year and have made significant progress on a number of nematode control products in a variety of crops. Syngenta recognizes the potential with the Pasteuria platform and can commercialize it in a broad range of products for the global marketplace."
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012.