In 1999 Monsanto sold the Stoneville cotton brand. But today Monsanto acquired the Stoneville and NexGen brands with an agreement to acquire Emergent Genetics for $300 million.
Kerry Preete, Monsanto's vice president of U.S. crop production, says Monsanto's decision to reenter the cottonseed business was similar to the reason Monsanto entered into agreements with Asgrow and DeKalb in the corn and soybean industry.
Preete says, Monsanto feels good about the pipeline of products coming to the marketplace. By being in the genetics business it allows a more rapid fashion of getting new technologies into the right varieties than just through licensing, he explains. "As we start to apply breeding technology, having retail brand, replicating and bring in advancements hopefully it'll make us a better supplier," Preete adds.
Through its Stoneville and NexGen brands, Emergent Genetics is the third largest cotton seed company in the United States, holding approximately 12 percent of the U.S. cotton seed market.
"Just as our DEKALB and Asgrow brands do in corn and soybeans, we believe the Stoneville and NexGen brands will provide a powerful showcase of our breeding advances and biotechnology traits in the U.S. cotton seed market," says Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant. "Coupled with the germplasm development and licensing in our cotton states business, our cotton business can mirror the successful model we've established through branded and licensed channels in corn and soybeans."