Seminis Inc., a leading developer, producer and marketer of vegetable and fruit seeds, and Fox Paine & Company LLC, a San Francisco-based private equity firm which manages funds that own a majority of Seminis, announced that Seminis has entered into a definitive agreement with Monsanto Company under which Monsanto would acquire Seminis for $1.4 billion in cash, plus a performance-based payment of up to $125 million payable by the end of fiscal year 2007. The acquisition agreement is subject to customary terms and conditions, including regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to be completed during the first half of 2005.

"Seminis will continue to operate under its own name, building upon the growth and marketing strategies that have propelled this company to the top of the vegetable and fruit seed industry. I am confident that the advances and innovations we have made during the past 10 years have provided the foundation needed for ongoing growth and will result in new opportunities for Seminis, its employees, customers and stakeholders," said Alfonso Romo, Seminis
Chairman and CEO.

Bruno Ferrari, currently the President and Chief Operating Officer of Seminis, will 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.

Source: PR Newswire