Syngenta Acquires Another Seed Company, More Could Come

Earlier this year Syngenta reiterated its dedication to expanding its seed footprint—and the company is backing those claims. Friday Syngenta announced it will acquire Abbott & Cobb, a vegetable seeds breeder, producer and marketer.

“Abbott & Cobb is a strategic acquisition for Syngenta Vegetable Seeds and will give us access to high eating quality germplasm and early maturity varieties to complement the Syngenta portfolio,” says Javier Martinez-Cabrera, Syngenta head of vegetables seeds North America.

This purchase will strengthen the company’s position in sweet corn—a crop Syngenta says is core to their business. In addition, Abbott & Cobb serves commercial growers, distributors, retailers, fresh market, fresh-cut and food services industries worldwide.

Syngenta has $400 million earmarked for growth and expansion in seeds over the next few years. The company is adding a significant number of staffers, expanding research capabilities and “aggressively seeking acquisition and partnership opportunities.”

“You can expect that we’re going to be aggressive in the pursuit of any acquisitions that complement our portfolio,” says David Hollinrake, Syngenta seeds president for North America. “Nidera is [another] recent acquisition that is a proof point. They offer market leading genetics in South America for soybeans and corn, which is supplemental to our capabilities there.

“We’re doubling down on the U.S. seeds business and adding incremental investments that support the growth of the business,” he adds. “We want to improve on our current [market share] position at a distant No. 3, to a closer No. 3 with an eye on No. 2.”