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BAYER CROPSCIENCE TO ACQUIRE SO. AMERICAN BIOLOGICAL SEED TREATMENT DEVELOPER
Source: Bayer CropScience news release

Bayer CropScience has signed an agreement to acquire Biagro Group, headquartered in Gral Las Heras, Provincia de Buenos Aires/Argentina, a producer and distributor of biological seed treatment solutions.

Established in 1984, Biagro has approximately 140 employees and production facilities in Argentina and Brazil.

Its portfolio of established brands includes seed-applied inoculants, plant growth-promoting microorganisms and other products for integrated pest management based on bacterial and fungal strains. Financial details have not been disclosed.

"Our aim is to further expand our global SeedGrowth business by offering an attractive and high-quality on-seed portfolio based on products, coatings, equipment and services. Biagro's product range is a valuable addition to our portfolio and will substantially improve soybean productivity," said Matthias Haug, Head of SeedGrowth at Bayer CropScience.

"We will continue expanding our competencies in biological seed treatment to provide growers with easy-to-use solutions for application on-seed as well as in-furrow."

"This acquisition underlines the strategic role of Argentina in our growth ambitions", said Eduardo Estrada Whipple, Head of the Region Latin America for Bayer CropScience, added. "We see a strong global demand for soybean meal, which is primarily used in animal feed. We are excited that with the technologies from Biagro we will be able to meet the productivity demands of soybean farmers in Argentina and in the region."

The United States, Brazil and Argentina make up roughly 80 percent of global soybean production. High productivity and sustainable yield increases are the main objectives of soybean growers seeking to fulfill the global demand for protein. Bayer CropScience has around 100 years of experience in the seed treatment business and is investing significant resources to create flexible, robust and convenient soybean management offers and thus drive up yields and farm income.

Nitrogen essential for plant growth and soybean seed production

Soybeans need a lot of nitrogen and most of it is required from the initial flowering through to the seed-set stages. Inoculants containing high-quality Rhizobium bacteria strains enable plant roots to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, a very effective and cost-efficient method of supplying nitrogen to soybeans and other legume crops. Improved nutrient uptake leads to enhanced plant growth, more vigorous root structure and greener plant foliage, which result in higher yields and greater profit potential for soybean growers.

In Argentina, Biagro is a well-respected company in the production and marketing of highly effective inoculants and biological seed treatment.

"Together with our new colleagues we can continue developing and marketing tailored solutions for the growing seed-treatment industry," said Martin Gruss, Head of SeedGrowth Products.

"With innovative offerings including chemical crop protection products, biological plant-growth promoters and inoculants, soybean growers can get their seed treated well before planting," Hernán Bagliero, Head of the Region Conosur for Bayer CropScience, added.

This transaction will also help Bayer CropScience build up its successful soybean seed business in Latin America. The company is striving to become an important business partner for soybean growers.

The acquisition will be filed for clearance by the antitrust authority in Argentina.

About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 8,819 million (2013) and is one of the world's leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 22,400 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.


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