News Briefs

BASF Acquires Becker Underwood
BASF has completed the acquisition of Becker Underwood from Norwest Equity Partners, a United States-based private equity investment company. With the acquisition, BASF is now a leading global provider of technologies for biological seed treatment as well as seed treatment colorants and polymers.

BASF has also expanded its product portfolio in the areas of biological crop protection, turf and horticulture, animal nutrition and landscape colorants and coatings.

“The acquisition fits very well with our long-term growth strategy. It will provide our customers with an even broader range of innovative solutions for agriculture,” said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, member of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors responsible for the Agricultural Solutions segment and Research Executive Director.

In the coming months, a detailed integration plan will be developed. Most businesses of Becker Underwood will join the newly established Functional Crop Care as part of BASF’s Crop Protection division. Within this new unit, BASF will merge its 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.

The newly formed global Functional Crop Care unit will become effective Jan. 1, 2013. It will be headed by Dr. Juergen Huff, Senior Vice President. Dr. Peter Innes, currently CEO of Becker Underwood, has accepted the position of Global Senior Advisor to the Crop Protection division and will support the integration of Becker Underwood into BASF and the implementation of the Functional Crop Care unit.

Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.


Novosymes Acquires Natural Industries
Novozymes has signed an agreement to acquire Natural Industries Inc., a Houston- based bioagricultural company with annual revenues of $5 million.

“I am excited to have Natural Industries join our growing BioAg business. Natural Industries expands Novozymes’ position in the important biocontrol segment and improves our capabilities to grow our business in key U.S. markets on high-value crops,” says Thomas Videbaek, executive vice president of Novozymes and head of BioBusiness.

Biological technologies are natural solutions with multiple modes of actions used to improve plant health and growth or combat diseases across various crops such as corn and soy and high value crops such as salads, strawberries and nuts.

The biological solutions complement the use of traditional chemicals and pesticides, which have a world market worth of $150 billion. By contrast, the emerging bioagriculture market is estimated to be worth about $1 billion with an annual growth rate of 10 to 15 percent.

For more information, visit their Web site at www.novozymes.com.