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Monsanto on the move again

Agriculture.com Staff 12/05/2006 @ 2:44pm

Monsanto continues its acquisition mode by picking up Fielder's Choice Direct (FDC) via its American Seeds, Inc., (ASI) subsidiary. The Monticello, Indiana, firm is Landec's direct marketing and seed sales company.

The sales price for FCD was $50 million in cash paid at the close on December 1, 2006 with a potential additional earn-out amount of up to $5 million based on FCD results for the twelve months ended May 31, 2007.

Under the first agreement, ASI will acquire FCD's customer call center operation, which serves customers across the Midwest and is the largest telemarketer of corn seed sales. ASI will also acquire Landec's two seed brands: Fielder's Choice Direct and Heartland Hybrids. Collectively, these two seed brands represent slightly more than one percent of U.S. corn seed sales.

"Fielder's Choice Direct has a long track record of serving farmers with a personal touch and a unique business model that is unparalleled today in the agriculture sector," says Carl Casale, executive vice president of North American commercial for Monsanto.

In the second transaction, the parties announced that they have entered into a five-year global technology license agreement for Landec's Intellicoat polymer seed coating technology. Under the five-year agreement, Monsanto will become the exclusive sales and marketing agent for Landec’s Intellicoat seed coating technology in corn, oilseeds and cotton. Monsanto also receives an option to buyout the Intellicoat seed coating technology.

Landec's Intellicoat seed coating technology offers several benefits to farmers, including the ability to delay seed germination until the soil reaches the optimal temperature. Landec officials say this approach offers farmers the option to expand their planting window, lower on-farm costs, and reduce risks associated with late planting.

"We're pleased that Monsanto will have worldwide use of our Intellicoat temperature-activated seed coating technology for the coating and treating of a wide variety of seeds," says Gary Steele, president and chief executive officer for Landec.

Monsanto continues its acquisition mode by picking up Fielder's Choice Direct (FDC) via its American Seeds, Inc., (ASI) subsidiary. The Monticello, Indiana, firm is Landec's direct marketing and seed sales company.

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