BASF to Acquire Becker Underwood

Seed treatment market offers strategic growth potential for German crop protection firm.

Published on: Sep 20, 2012

BASF announced today that it plans to acquire Becker Underwood for $1.02 billion. The Ames, Iowa company is a leading provider of technologies for biological seed treatment, seed treatment colors and polymers. Becker Underwood has also been a long-time major player in the crop inoculant market.

Becker Underwood has been part of New Equity Partners since 2004, and NEP agreed to sell the firm to BASF with the transaction expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

In a press statement announcing the move, Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, research executive director and member of BASF's Board of Executive Directors commented: "We are impressed with Becker Underwood's ability to translate growers' needs into innovative, tailor-made solutions that can promote higher yields while conserving resources. Becker Underwood is to become part of BASF and we are excited that together with our new colleagues we can continue expanding our competencies."

TECH PURCHASE: BASF is to acquire Becker Underwood, long known for its inoculants, but a growing innovator in seed treatments, colorants and polymers. BASF will create a new business division as part of the acquisition.
TECH PURCHASE: BASF is to acquire Becker Underwood, long known for its inoculants, but a growing innovator in seed treatments, colorants and polymers. BASF will create a new business division as part of the acquisition.

As part of the move, BASF's Crop Protection division will create a strategic global business unit called Functional Crop Care that will merge 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. Becker Underwood's animal nutrition business will be integrated into BASF's Nutrition & Health Division.

Becker Underwood is expected to see sales of $240 million for fiscal year 2012, ending on Sept. 30.

Markus Heldt, president of BASF's Crop Protection division, comments: "Becker Underwood has a strong position in North America. We will continue to expand this core business as we expand globally."

Upon receiving necessary legal approvals, the majority of Becker Underwood's seed treatment and seed technology business will be integrated into BASF's Crop Protection division. In 2011, the division recorded sales of around 4.2 billion euros and is expecting another top year in 2012.