Vilmorin Makes Equity Investment in Arcadia Biosciences; Announces Formation of North American Wheat Joint Venture
– Partnership With Global Wheat Leader Provides Direct Market Access for Arcadia Technologies in Wheat —
DAVIS, Calif. (May 3, 2010) – Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., an agricultural technology company focused on developing technologies and products that benefit the environment and human health, today announced that Vilmorin, one of the world’s oldest and largest producers and marketers of field crop and vegetable seeds, has purchased a 7.25% equity position in Arcadia. In parallel, Arcadia has purchased a 35% ownership position in Limagrain Cereal Seeds LLC (LCS), a newly formed company that provides the platform for wheat development in the United States. Vilmorin maintains 65% ownership of LCS.
Vilmorin’s investment in Arcadia and the cooperation of the two companies in the management of LCS build upon a 2009 agreement related to the development of Nitrogen Use Efficient (NUE) wheat. Under the new agreements, Vilmorin is granted worldwide privileged rights to technologies developed by Arcadia for wheat.
LCS, based in Fort Collins, Colo., will develop new wheat varieties based on genetic and breeding resources in Vilmorin and US-based programs, as well as advanced technologies from Vilmorin and Arcadia. LCS has appointed Dr. C. James Peterson, Professor of Wheat Breeding and Genetics and former head of wheat breeding for Oregon State University, as VP of Research.
In order to diversify its genetic resources and to establish business in key production zones for American wheat, LCS has acquired the wheat assets of Genesis Seed Research and BSF AG Research (Indiana). Genetic material for high-quality wheat and an existing flow of royalties are the two main assets of these firms and constitute the building blocks for more ambitious development plans.
Wheat is the world’s second largest agricultural crop, with annual output valued at $73 billion. As one of the major sources of global nutrition, supply and demand projections clearly underline the need for advancements in wheat productivity through traits that benefit growers, consumers, and the environment. Arcadia and Vilmorin believe that their strategic alliance and partnership in LCS will reinforce Vilmorin’s current leadership position in global wheat genetics, and create a significant opportunity for LCS.
“The Vilmorin investment in Arcadia is a clear validation of our core technologies, our commitment to ongoing development of new technologies, and the strength of our management team,” said Eric Rey, president and CEO of Arcadia. “In addition to being an equity investor, Vilmorin is the ideal joint venture partner because of our aligned vision about how to offer technologies to wheat growers that can improve crop quality, on-farm economics, and the overall impact of farming on the global environment. Our participation in LCS is demonstrative of Arcadia’s strategy to capture more downstream value for its technologies in key crop areas.”
“Vilmorin’s wheat strategy in the US, one of the world’s main wheat markets, is based on the development of genetic material well adapted to local conditions, access to innovative new technologies and a team of experts dedicated to growing our wheat business. The long term collaboration with Arcadia is a key component of our global expansion plan and will allow us to develop more innovative and environmentally friendly seed varieties,” said Adrian Huige, CEO of Vilmorin.
About Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.
Based in Davis, Calif., with additional facilities in Seattle, Wash. and Phoenix, Ariz., Arcadia Biosciences is an agricultural technology company focused on developing technologies and products that improve the environment and enhance human health. For more information visit www.arcadiabio.com.
Vilmorin is the fourth largest seed company in the world, and creates vegetable and field crops with high added value, thus helping to meet food needs more efficiently. Based on a responsible vision of its development, Vilmorin’s strategy is a successful combination of its research capacity and constant international growth that strengthens its position as a world player. This ambition is founded on sharing knowledge, quality of life and respect for the needs of mankind, all expressed through its philosophy “Cultivating the taste of life.”
Listed on NYSE Euronext Paris (compartment A), Vilmorin’s quotation is included in the Next 150, CAC Mid 100 and SBF 120 indices, and is eligible for SRD (Deferred Settlement Order). For more information visit www.vilmorin.info.