MENLO PARK, Calif. and ST. LOUIS -- Monsanto Company and Landec Corporation announced two separate agreements today, potentially valued at more than $70 million.



In the first transaction, Monsanto's American Seeds Inc. subsidiary has acquired Landec's direct marketing and seed sales company, Fielder's Choice Direct, based in Monticello, Ind. The sales price for FCD was $50 million in cash paid at the close on Dec. 1, 2006, with a potential additional earn-out amount of up to $5 million based on FCD results for the twelve months ended May 31, 2007.



"We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Monsanto, the world's leading ag technology company," said Gary Steele, president and CEO for Landec. "Based on its long-term investment in research and development, Monsanto is a market leader in seed genetics and traits, and will now be able to utilize Fielder's Choice Direct's unique channel of distribution for seed-based products."



Under the first agreement, ASI will acquire FCD's customer call center operation, which serves customers across the Midwest and is the largest telemarketer of corn seed sales. ASI will also acquire Landec's two seed brands: Fielder's Choice Direct and Heartland Hybrids. Collectively, these two seed brands represent slightly more than one percent of U.S. corn seed sales. These seed brands will join the ASI family of regional seed offerings which serves farmers with a technology-rich, locally-oriented business model.

"Fielder's Choice Direct has a long track record of serving farmers with a personal touch and a unique business model that is unparalleled today in the agriculture sector," said Carl Casale, executive vice president of North American commercial for Monsanto. "The addition of the FCD business model complements our existing dealer, retail and licensee channels, and bolsters our commitment of delivering high-quality seed and trait technologies to U.S. farmers, regardless of their channel preference."



Monsanto to license Landec's polymer seed coating technology



In the second transaction, the parties announced that they have entered into a five-year global technology license agreement for Landec's Intellicoat(R) polymer seed coating technology. Under the five-year agreement, Monsanto will become the exclusive sales and marketing agent for Landec's Intellicoat seed coating technology in corn, oilseeds and cotton. Monsanto also receives an option to buyout the Intellicoat seed coating technology.



Landec's Intellicoat seed coating technology offers several unique benefits to farmers, including the ability to delay seed germination until the soil reaches the optimal temperature. This approach offers farmers the option to expand their planting window, lower on-farm costs and reduce the risks associated with late planting.



"We're pleased that Monsanto will have worldwide use of our Intellicoat temperature-activated seed coating technology for the coating and treating of a wide variety of seeds," said Steele. "This agreement provides Landec and Monsanto with a great opportunity to showcase and advance our Intellicoat technology platform and the benefits of this technology for the farmer."



"Meeting our farmer customers needs means that we're constantly evaluating new and innovative seed and trait technologies which can help farmers boost and preserve the yield potential of their crops," Casale said. "We're looking forward to licensing Landec's Intellicoat coating technology, and offering farmer's another tool as they work to meet the evolving demands facing the agriculture industry."



Landec Corporation designs, develops, manufactures and sells temperature- activated and other specialty polymer products for a variety of food, agricultural and licensed partner applications. The company's temperature-activated polymer products are based on its proprietary Intelimer(R) polymers, which differ from other polymers in that they can be customized to abruptly change their physical characteristics when heated or cooled through a pre-set temperature switch.



American Seeds Inc., which was formed by Monsanto in 2004, serves as a holding company for regional seed companies that market primarily corn and soybeans. ASI provides support for these regional seed businesses with capital, genetics and technology investments. These investments allow the operating companies of ASI to more directly connect their customers to significant innovations in genomics-based breeding and other new technologies while continuing to operate autonomously and locally.



Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.



SOURCE: Monsanto Company via PR Newswire.