BASF to acquire US biological seed treatment firm Becker Underwood

20 September 2012 14:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--BASF plans to acquire US-based biological seed treatment technology provider Becker Underwood from  investment firm Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) for $1.02bn (€785m), the Germany-based chemicals major said on Thursday.

BASF hopes the deal, expected to close by the end of 2012, will strengthen its global crop protection business. The purchase is still subject to approval by the responsible authorities.

“Particularly in the rapidly-growing seed treatment market, we will be able to develop innovative solutions for agriculture,” said Andreas Kreimeyer, research executive director and member of BASF’s board of executive directors responsible for its Agricultural Solutions segment.

Becker Underwood, headquartered in Ames, Iowa, has 10 production sites worldwide and 479 employees. It has been a portfolio company of NEP since 2004, BASF added.

Becker Underwood, which also provides products in the areas of biological crop protection, turf and horticulture, animal nutrition and landscape colourants and coatings, is expected to achieve sales of $240m for its fiscal year 2012 ended 30 September.

As part of the acquisition, BASF’s Crop Protection division will create a strategic global business unit called Functional Crop Care.

"The unit will merge BASF’s existing research, development and marketing activities in the areas of seed treatment, biological crop protection, plant health, as well as water and resource management with those of Becker Underwood. Becker Underwood’s animal nutrition business will be integrated into BASF’s Nutrition & Health division," the company added.

“Becker Underwood has a strong position in North America. We will continue to expand this core business as we expand globally,” said Markus Heldt, president of BASF’s Crop Protection division.

In 2011, BASF’s Crop Protection division recorded sales of around €4.2bn.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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