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7-Business: KWS and Limagrain announce corn and soybean merger



-------------------------- GENET-news ---------------------------

TITLE:  KWS and Limagrain to merge corn and soybean
SOURCE: Press Release, sent by Agnet, Canada
DATE:   January 19, 2000

----------------- archive: http://www.gene.ch/ ------------------


KWS and Limagrain to merge corn and soybean

MINNEAPOLIS and PEORIA, Ill. -- Groupe Limagrain of Chappes,
France and KWS SAAT AG of Einbeck, Germany announced today their
intent to merge their North American corn and soybean operations.
The corn breeding operations of the two companies will be
combined into a program that is equally owned by KWS and
Limagrain. This combined breeding program, which will begin
operations immediately, will be one of the five leading corn
breeding programs in North America.

Separate joint ventures will be established in the United States
and Canada for sales and production activities in corn, soybeans
and alfalfa. The businesses being contributed to the joint
ventures are currently operated by Limagrain Genetics Corp. and
Great Lakes Hybrids, Inc. in the United States and Limagrain
Genetics Inc. in Canada.

Both joint ventures will begin commercial operations on July 1,
2000 and will continue to market high quality seed products under
the Agrigold, Great Lakes, LG-Callahan, and Pride brand names
throughout the corn growing regions of the U.S. and Canada with
each brand being marketed through its current organization and
distribution network.

The U.S. company will be headquartered in Indianapolis and the
Canadian company will be headquartered in Chatham, Ontario.

KWS and Limagrain will each appoint the same number of
representatives to the governing boards. KWS will own one third
of each joint venture with the option to increase to 50%
ownership. Combined sales of the joint ventures at start up will
be approximately $80 million USD. E. Joe Dahmer, Senior Vice
President and General Manager of KWS' North American operations,
has been appointed Chairman of the Board of the joint ventures.

"Both KWS and Limagrain share a common philosophy of independence
and research leadership," said Dahmer. "They both are committed
to investing in research to develop germplasm and making it
available to the farmer in industry-leading products. Developing
top performing products and supplying them to our customers
through our network of professional dealers and salesmen will be
the central goal of the new company."

Raphael Journel, President and CEO of Limagrain Genetics Corp.,
has been appointed President and CEO of the joint ventures.
"Limagrain and KWS have 20 years of experience in conducting corn
research and breeding in the United States and Canada," said
Journel. "The joining of the two programs combines complementary
germplasm and provides outstanding product development potential.
This joint research effort will be the key to our commercial
success and will allow us to rapidly expand our line up of top
performing hybrids to the farmer." 


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