MILWAUKEE -- Nitragin Inc. announced today that, through its Canadian affiliate Nitragin Holding Inc., it has acquired Agribiotics Inc., a Canadian crop bioscience company.

Nitragin said it did so to gain full access to crop-enhancing technologies used in agriculture.

Agribiotics, located in Cambridge, Ontario, is a developer and manufacturer of legume inoculants, bacteria naturally occurring in soil that enhance legume crop vigor and yield by facilitating nitrogen absorption through the plants' root system. Most recently, Agribiotics has expanded their technology portfolio to include novel, patented crop enhancing technologies for use with legumes as well as non-legume crops.

Nitragin -- the crop bioscience arm of Merck KGaA's chemical business, which in the U.S. and Canada is managed under the umbrella of EMD Chemicals Inc. -- has been commercializing plant-health-promoting products since 2003. Through the acquisition, the company will secure exclusive rights to several crop-enhancing technologies and their applications.

"Agribiotics Inc. has an impressive portfolio of yield-enhancing technologies that align closely with Nitragin's offering. The combination of these companies reflects Nitragin's efforts to make technologies from around the world available to growers who operate in an increasingly global market," commented Tom Winkofske, President of Nitragin, Inc.

The Nitragin Company was founded in 1898 after a Milwaukee entrepreneur purchased rights to a commercial process for the production of nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. The business remained privately owned until 1982. In 1991 Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany purchased the business. Nitragin Inc., based in Milwaukee, is committed to advancing yield-enhancing technologies and making these products available to growers.

Agribiotics Holdings Inc. is a Canadian company that develops, produces and commercializes inoculant products for the agricultural industry. With its main focus on innovative technology development, Agribiotics also commercializes legume inoculants in the Canadian and US market. The company is located in Cambridge, Ontario.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with sales of EUR 5.9 billion in 2005, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by 29,133 employees in 54 countries. The former U.S. subsidiary, Merck & Co., has been completely independent of the Merck Group since 1917.

EMD Chemicals represents the North American chemical sector of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

SOURCE: Nitragin Inc. via Business Wire.