Monsanto Sells Off European Seed Treatment Assets

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NOTE: This article has been updated since it was originally published Feb. 1.

Monsanto and Mitsui & Co., Ltd.  have reached an agreement in which Mitsui will acquire all the assets related to Monsanto’s Latitude business, including trademarks, registrations and manufacturing knowledge. Latitude products are specialized fungicide seed treatments, used primarily for wheat and barley. No personnel are included in the acquisition.

For Mitsui, the agreement provides the opportunity to expand the company’s range of cereal seed treatment products both in and outside Europe. Certis Europe, a subsidiary of Mitsui, and Spiess Urania will immediately take over the sales and marketing in all countries where Latitude products are sold, so that customers will have seamless access to the products. They will continue to offer existing brands and products in the sector.

“The whole company is excited at the significance of this deal for Certis and Spiess Urania,” says Jacques Haverlant, seed treatment portfolio lead in Certis Europe. “Latitude products are highly recognized specialty products with a strong brand image and, as such, fit extremely well with our corporate positioning.

“They also complement our existing portfolio exceptionally well and will represent an important part of our seed treatment business.  The teams involved are dedicated to making it a success for us and our customers and to making the most of the great opportunities open to us, both in our existing seed treatment markets and those new to us.”

Latitude products are a significant strategic addition to the Certis portfolio, according to the company, providing the opportunity to extend the territory where the company operates in seed treatment markets. To date, activity has centered mainly on France. Latitude products will provide wider access, especially into the other two largest markets, United Kingdom and Germany, as well as other countries. It also complements the existing portfolio, as Latitude products will partner well with Certis products to create combined offers providing broader market access and improved solutions.

Seed treatment products have been part of the Certis distribution portfolio for more than 15 years, and in 2006, it acquired a global license from Janssen for imazalil, which is also used for seed treatment, and has since maintained its registration and expanded sales. More recently, Mitsui has invested in a seed treatment formulation research center at the Japan Agro Services facility in France.

In reaching this agreement with Monsanto, Mitsui has made a significant investment in its seed treatment portfolio, strengthening its position in this sector. This acquisition will provide a platform on which the Certis seed treatment portfolio can be built through future product licensing and innovation and development, including new chemistry from Japan-based research and development companies.

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