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AgriBusiness Global reports:

Mitsui & CO., LTD. has announced the completion of the first stage of its acquisition of Belchim Crop Protection NV/SA from Belchim's founder, Belchim Management NV/SA, through Mitsui's wholly-owned subsidiary Mitsui AgriScience International NV/SA (MASI). The first stage comprises the transfer of 30% of Belchim shares, together with management control of the business and follows confirmation that all relevant conditions set by the EU Commission have been fulfilled. The remaining 32% of Belchim shares are expected to transfer within the 2nd quarter of 2021.

The companies announced the signing of a definitive agreement on 9 December 2019 and EU merger clearance, subject to certain conditions, was approved by the EU Commission on 12 February 2021.

Hitoshi Kudo, General Manager of Mitsui & CO., LTD's AgriScience division, stated, "Mitsui AgriScience group is pleased to have completed the first stage of the acquisition of Belchim. Founded by Dirk Putteman in 1987, Belchim has grown with the support of its valuable suppliers, loyal customers, management team and employees to become a significant player in the crop protection market."

The vision of the Mitsui AgriScience group is to contribute towards sustainable food supply and the agricultural industry through science. This acquisition will accelerate Mitsui AgriScience's global growth strategy and brings an opportunity to create a sustainable, sizeable and unique crop protection business in Europe and beyond. With the closure of this first stage of its acquisition, Mitsui will commence collaboration between MASI, Belchim and its existing European subsidiary Certis Europe BV, to capture synergies and realize this ambitious goal.

Kudo added, "We are confident we can build on the success and capabilities of both Belchim and Certis to develop a sustainable crop protection business in Europe that has the critical mass and capabilities to support Japanese R&D innovation and provide a platform for development and commercialization of own products and products from other key suppliers.

"The focus will remain on Japanese R&D innovation, biorational products, seed treatment, soil sustainability, and technical product management. As ever, we want to continue to support customers and farmers by providing them with solutions that meet their crop protection needs in both speciality and arable crops."

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