announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase the watermelon and melon seed business of Abbott & Cobb Inc., a privately-held seed company headquartered in Feasterville, Pennsylvania, USA. The acquisition will strengthen the vegetable seed business of Bayer CropScience, which operates under the Nunhems brand and is a key segment for the company. Around 30 employees of Abbott & Cobb are expected to join the vegetable seed business of Bayer CropScience. Closing is expected within a few weeks. Financial details were not disclosed.
Abbott & Cobb has a robust watermelon position in the US with increasing business in Mexico, Australia and Asia. This makes the acquisition a significant step forward for the presence of Bayer CropScience in this market. In addition, the melon business and the germplasm will broaden Bayer CropScienc's existing seed portfolio further and will be the basis for future new hybrids. Abbott & Cobb will continue with its remaining business with crops such as sweet corn, pepper and squash.
"The demand for healthy fruits and vegetables is increasing worldwide, and this segment is of crucial importance for Bayer CropScience. We plan to achieve sales of about EUR 3 billion with seeds, traits and crop protection solutions for fruits and vegetables by 2020. Our vegetable seed business is essential for this," said Sandra E. Peterson, CEO of Bayer CropScience. Douwe Zijp, head of the Bayer CropScience vegetable seed business, added: "We are already present in all major vegetable production areas in the world with an extensive range of 28 crops and some 2,500 varieties of Nunhems brand vegetable seed - and we are very pleased to strengthen our business with the renowned seed business of Abbott & Cobb and their experienced staff."
"We are excited to join forces with Bayer CropScience's vegetable seeds organization with our watermelon and melon business - foremost because of its commitment to providing innovative solutions to vegetable growers throughout the world. Together we will build on the long tradition of our company offering high-quality products and excellent service", said Art Abbott, CEO of Abbott & Cobb.