GENET archive


BUSINESS / SEEDS: Monsanto and BASF: Feeding world is aim of new duo

                                 PART I
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  BASF and Monsanto announce R&D and commercialization
collaboration agreement in plant biotechnology
SOURCE: Monsanto, USA & BASF, Germany
AUTHOR: Press Release
DATE:   21.03.2007

BASF and Monsanto announce R&D and commercialization collaboration
agreement in plant biotechnology

-- Agreement aimed at developing higher-yielding crops that are more
tolerant to adverse environmental conditions such as drought
-- Potential $1.5 billion/euro 1.2 billion devoted to joint pipeline
over life of the collaboration
-- First products to be commercialized in the first half of the next decade

LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany and ST. LOUIS, March 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
BASF (NYSE: BF) and Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) today announced a long-
term joint research and development (R&D) and commercialization
collaboration in plant biotechnology that will focus on the development
of high yielding crops and crops that are more tolerant to adverse
environmental conditions such as drought. The collaboration is effective

Over the life of the collaboration, the two companies will dedicate a
joint budget of potentially $1.5 billion/euro 1.2 billion to fund a
dedicated pipeline of yield and stress tolerance traits for corn,
soybeans, cotton and canola. The joint pipeline will include the
companies' existing and planned yield and stress tolerance programs and
be comprised of projects generated by independent plant biotechnology
discovery and research from each company. The first product developed as
part of this collaboration is expected to be commercialized in the first
half of the next decade.

"We are pleased to be able to work with BASF in order to enhance our
ability to identify and commercialize new traits that have the potential
to bring substantial value to farmers," said Robb Fraley, Chief
Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Monsanto. "By
broadening the pipeline of potential traits, exchanging technology and
sharing risk, this collaboration can accelerate the discovery of next-
generation technologies for the farm and effectively double the risk-
adjusted net present value of Monsanto's yield and stress trait
technology pipeline."

"We are excited about the collaboration with Monsanto, which is a strong
partner with outstanding capabilities," said Peter Oakley, Member of
BASF's Board of Executive Directors responsible for Agriculture, Health
and Nutrition. "This is a great step forward in bringing to farmers
higher yielding crops that help them to meet the increasing demand in
both the food as well as renewable resources segments."

Under this collaboration:
-- The companies will establish and collaboratively manage a dedicated
pipeline that will focus on the development of crops with higher yields
and crops that lead to consistent yields under adverse environmental
conditions, such as drought.
-- Each company will additionally maintain independent trait discovery

-- From the various programs, each company will nominate specific
candidate genes and the most promising candidates will be advanced for
accelerated joint development and for commercialization in the Monsanto
-- The two companies expect to generate a greater number of viable
research projects than they could have done on their own, accelerate the
development of new products, and bring a greater number of traits to the
market at a faster speed.
-- The nominated projects will be jointly funded at a 50-50 cost sharing
through each phase of development as the candidate gene works its way
toward commercial status.
-- Products that emerge from the joint development will be
commercialized by Monsanto. The companies have agreed to share profits
associated with commercialized products, with Monsanto receiving 60
percent of net profits and BASF receiving 40 percent of net profits.

Monsanto decided to collaborate with BASF because the company is
excellently positioned to provide traits as a series of successive
upgrades within a particular crop. For BASF, Monsanto's track record of
commercializing traits and breeding desirable germplasm ensures that
BASF's innovations quickly reach the widest base of farmers.

In addition to today's collaboration, the companies also announced that
they have entered into a separate development and commercialization
collaboration to research methods to control the soybean cyst nematode,
a parasitic worm that can limit and destroy yields for soybean farmers.

Both collaborations will be performed by Monsanto and BASF Plant
Science, the plant biotechnology company of BASF.

Additional Information

Presentations related to today's announcement may be accessed by
visiting Monsanto Company's Web site at or
BASF's Web site at .
In conjunction with this announcement, BASF and Monsanto will hold a
joint conference call for investors and media. The call is scheduled for
9 a.m. EDT (2 p.m. CET) today, Wednesday, March 21, 2007. Presentation
slides and a simultaneous audio webcast of the conference call may be
accessed by visiting the companies' web sites at http:// and clicking on "Investor Information" or http:// . Visitors may need to download Windows Media Player(TM)
prior to listening to the webcast. Following the live broadcast, a
replay of the webcast will be available on the Monsanto and the BASF web
sites for three weeks.

About Monsanto

Monsanto is an agriculture company. The company is a leading provider of
technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm
productivity and food quality. Monsanto is committed to investing in
products that can make a difference for its farmer customers and the
land they farm. The company uses plant breeding, plant biotechnology and
other applications of modern science to support its commitment to
agriculture and the farmers that feed, clothe and fuel our growing
world. For more information on Monsanto, see .

About BASF Plant Science

BASF founded BASF Plant Science in 1998 as its own biotechnology
company. BASF Plant Science coordinates a research and development
platform in Europe and North America with about 700 employees working to
optimize crops for the following sectors: more efficient agriculture,
renewable raw materials for specialty products and healthier nutrition
for humans and animals.

BASF Plant Science focuses on second- and third-generation plant
biotechnology products and has a strong discovery platform for
agronomically important traits. The company's program is based on
several technology platforms with innovative discovery approaches
currently not used by any other company. These include high-throughput
phenotyping at CropDesign in Ghent, Belgium, and high-throughput
metabolic profiling at Metanomics in Berlin.
To find out more about BASF Plant Science, please see http:// .

About BASF

BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its
portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products,
agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas.
As a reliable partner to virtually all industries, BASF's high-value
products and intelligent system solutions help its customers to be more
successful. BASF develops new technologies and uses them to meet the
challenges of the future and open up additional market opportunities. It
combines economic success with environ-mental protection and social
responsibility, thus contributing to a better future. BASF has over
95,000 employees and posted sales of euro 52.6 billion/$66.1 billion in
2006. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS),
London (BFA), New York (BF) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF
is available on the Internet at .

Forward-Looking Statements:

As it pertains to BASF:

This press release contains forward-looking statements under the U.S.
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are
based on cur-rent expectations, estimates and projections of BASF
management and currently available information. They are not guarantees
of future performance, involve certain risks and uncertainties that are
difficult to predict and are based upon assumptions as to future events
that may not prove to be accurate. Many factors could cause the actual
results, performance or achievements of BASF to be materially different
from those that may be expressed or implied by such statements. Such
factors include those discussed in BASF's Form 20-F filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not assume any obligation to
update the forward-looking statements contained in this presentation.

As it pertains to Monsanto:

Certain statements contained in this press release are forward-looking
statements, such as statements concerning the company's future product
performance, regulatory approvals, business and financial plans and
other non- historical facts. These statements are based on current
expectations and currently avail-able information. However, since these
statements are based on factors that involve risks and uncertainties,
the company's actual performance and results may differ materially from
those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors
that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among
others: the success of the companies' research and development
activities; the costs of and the companies' abilities to access and
enforce intellectual property needed for the collaboration; the costs
and requirements of regulatory compliance and the speed with which
approvals are received; public acceptance of biotechnology products; and
other risks and factors detailed in the company's most recent periodic
report to the SEC. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-
looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this
presentation. The company disclaims any current intention or obligation
to update any forward-looking statements or any of the factors that may
affect actual results.

CONTACT: Media Inquiries, Lee Quarles, Monsanto Company,
+1-314-694-2330 or +1-314-406-5739; or Michael Grabicki, BASF,
+49.621.60.999 38, or Investor Inquiries, Scarlett Lee Foster, Monsanto
Company, +1-314-694-8148; or Magdalena Moll, BASF, +49.621.60.48230
Online Press Kit available here
Web site:
Company News On-Call:

-------------------- archived at --------------------

                                 PART II
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  Monsanto and BASF: Feeding world is aim of new duo
SOURCE: St. Louis Post - Dispatch, USA
AUTHOR: Rachel Melcer
DATE:   22.03.2007

Monsanto and BASF: Feeding world is aim of new duo

Crop yields - Both firms say partnership will speed research.
Designing seeds - Monsanto gets access to huge genetic library.

Monsanto Co. and BASF AG, a German competitor, on Wednesday promised to
work together to deliver higher-yielding crops to meet increasing global

The companies announced a $1.5 billion research and development
collaboration that, over a decade or more, could deliver hundreds of
varieties of genetically modified corn, soybeans, cotton and canola. The
seeds would allow farmers to boost yields on limited cropland to meet
the world's requirements for food, animal feed, fiber and renewable fuels.

The partnership combines Monsanto's industry expertise in developing and
commercializing biotech crops with an innovative early-stage research
approach pioneered by BASF's Plant Science division. This week, the team
will begin work on eight high-yield genetic traits discovered by
Monsanto. BASF will add at least six traits of its own.

"This collaboration is a giant step toward taking (our) research tools
and creating commercial products more rapidly," said Robb Fraley, chief
technology officer of Creve Coeur-based Monsanto, in a conference call
with analysts.

Together, the companies promise to create biotech crops that not only
have improved yield under ideal conditions, but that also can withstand
environmental stresses. These include drought and soil with low levels
of nitrogen, an important plant nutrient.

"The pace of innovation will be faster now than we've ever seen before,"
Fraley said. "The standards of innovation have changed today."

Monsanto and BASF will equally share the cost of research and
development. But Monsanto will receive 60 percent of any eventual sales
because it is responsible for getting government regulatory approvals
and bringing the seeds to market -- something it says could happen by 2015.

Monsanto is a clear market leader, with most competitors working to
match its seeds genetically modified to withstand certain pests as well
as applications of its Roundup herbicide. Its pipeline of "second
generation" traits -- those with benefits for food processors and
consumers, rather than just farmers -- repeatedly has impressed analysts
at the company's annual technology review.

Complementary partners

But it found in BASF something that was lacking.

BASF "has technology that has the potential to be transformational and
not just replicate work that has already been done," said Hugh Grant,
Monsanto's president, chairman and chief executive. The platform "is
innovative and, at the same time, immensely complementary" to Monanto's
own technology.

A unit of BASF uses computers and robotics to measure more than 1,000
important chemicals that plants produce. It can track changes in the
chemicals to see how a plant functions differently with the addition or
subtraction of a particular gene. And it can do so quickly on many plant
samples, said Peter Oakley, a member of BASF's Board of Executive
Directors responsible for Agriculture, Health and Nutrition.

The company has compiled more than 1.5 million of these profiles for
more than 35,000 genes. The resulting "genetic library" is a searchable
database for researchers, he said.

The next important piece of the puzzle is a BASF Plant Science unit that
rapidly measures about 20 performance characteristics in plant samples
grown with promising genetic modifications. BASF can test 100,000 plants
a year using this automated technology and those results, too, wind up
in the database.

As a result, researchers can quickly find and characterize useful traits
and prioritize their development, Oakley said.

With this technology, Monsanto "has just connected a firehose to our
pipeline," Grant said. He promised product development "more, better, faster."

With all of its technology, BASF does not own any seed companies. It
hasn't commercialized any biotech crops, or taken them through the
complex and time-consuming regulatory processes of multiple countries.
It never intended to.

'Frankenfood' issue

"We have been seeking a strong partner with a clear vision and strategy
to commercialize and market novel discoveries to farmers," said Jurgen
Hambrecht, chairman of BASF's board of executive directors, the
equivalent of an American CEO.

"Monsanto clearly stands out when one looks at the world map of
agricultural biotechnology," he said. Marrying the two companies
"creates a whole new world of opportunities for bringing traits to market."

It also could provide access to the Old World for Monsanto's genetically
modified crops, which many Europeans reject as "Frankenfood."

Europe's concern over global warming and demand for renewable fuels from
plant sources could outweigh apprehension about biotech crops, said
Christine Bruhn, director of the Center for Consumer Research at the
University of California-Davis. "If the benefits are appealing, the
people in surveys say they would consider biotech crops," she said.

If the world is to produce enough crops to feed people and livestock,
while providing corn for ethanol and soybeans for biodiesel, farmers
will need high-yielding biotech crops, the companies said.

"This collaboration brings something to the table that European farmers
need just as much as American farmers, and that's yield increases,"
Oakley said. "It will become very, very difficult long term for European
farmers to remain competitive without access to these technologies. ...
It's a door opener in Europe."

Fraley called yield "the Holy Grail of agricultural research -- in part,
because it has historically been one of the most complex characteristics
to dissect scientifically. Today, we have the tools to tackle that
opportunity," Fraley said.

The benefits could extend around the world, Grant said.

"Whether you're in Schleswig-Holstein or Bangalore, the real dilemma in
the next decade is going to be how do you grow more with less," he said.
"I think it's going to be the challenge for the planet."

Company profiles

Headquarters: Ludwigshafen, Germany
Business: World's largest chemical company 
Employees: 95,247 
2006 revenue: $70 billion*
Research spending: Will total about $440 million between 2006 and 2008. 
-- The company's BASF Plant Science unit has eight sites in five
countries in Europe and North America.
*Converted from euros

Monsanto Co.
Headquarters: Creve Coeur
Business: World's largest producer of genetically modified crops
Employees: 17,500
2006 revenue: $7.3 billion
Research spending: More than $750 million in 2006

-------------------- archived at --------------------

                                 PART III
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  Monsanto, BASF to spend $1.5 billion on biotech seeds
SOURCE: Bloomberg, USA
AUTHOR: Antonio Ligi and Jack Kaskey
DATE:   21.03.2007

Monsanto, BASF to spend $1.5 billion on biotech seeds

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Monsanto Co., the world's largest developer of
genetically modified seeds, and BASF AG, the biggest chemical company,
plan to spend as much as $1.5 billion to develop crops that have higher
yields and resist drought.

The partnership will focus on engineering corn, soybeans, cotton and
canola, St. Louis-based Monsanto and Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF
said in a statement today. New modified seeds will be offered to farmers
at a "record pace," Monsanto Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant said on
a conference call.

Joining forces will permit more research to be undertaken, boosting the
number of new biotech crops, the companies said. The deal comes a year
after Delaware-based DuPont Co., Monsanto's biggest rival, formed a
joint venture with Switzerland's Syngenta AG to share corn and soybean
genetics and license technology to North American seedmakers.

"The collaboration fits very well," said Andreas Heine, an analyst with
HVB Group in Munich who has a "buy" rating on BASF stock. "BASF is very
strong in the early research program, Monsanto is strong in development,
breeding and marketing."

Shares of Monsanto rose $1.74, or 3.3 percent, to $55 at 4:15 p.m. in
New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Before today, they had gained
26 percent in the past 12 months. BASF gained 20 cents to 78.10 euros in
Frankfurt. The stock had gained 23 percent in the past year.

`Terrific' Partnership

Frank Husic, chief investment officer at San Francisco- based Husic
Capital Management, which manages $600 million, including 140,000
Monsanto shares, called the partnership "terrific."

"They are good partners," Husic said in a phone interview. "Agricultural
biotech is a pretty risky business, and Monsanto is spreading the risk."

While each company will contribute about $750 million over the next
decade, Monsanto is providing its seed distribution network and will
receive 60 percent of the earnings from any products eventually sold.

BASF board member Peter Oakley said the first new crops produced by the
venture should reach the market after 2010 and will yield 5 percent to
10 percent more than today's plants, rising to more than 20 percent by
the end of the next decade.

"Farmers will profit a lot from higher-yielding crops and this will help
to meet increasing demand for food worldwide," BASF Chief Executive
Officer Juergen Hambrecht said on a separate conference call.

Equal Value

Monsanto will contribute its eight leading genes for drought resistance,
nitrogen utilization and yield improvement, some of which were
previously slated to be commercialized early next decade. BASF will
contribute at least six yield and stress technologies that the companies
declined to detail.

BASF's six technologies have a value equal to Monsanto's entire line of
weed-resistant or insect-resistant seeds, Monsanto Chief Technology
Officer Robert Fraley said.

About 80 percent of the development costs for Monsanto's eight
technologies are still to come, and those expenses will now be shared
with BASF, Fraley said. The cost of bringing each new biotech seed to
market after discovery is $60 million to $80 million, Grant said.

Goldman Sachs Group analyst Robert Koort, who recommends buying Monsanto
shares, said a lack of specifics makes the value of the deal hard to assess.


"We were somewhat surprised to see Monsanto reach outside its
organization for developmental leads given the enormous effort already
under way," Koort said in a note to clients. "This potential for new
leads plus a risk reduction benefit from sharing the developmental costs
is promising."

Monsanto's Fraley said he envisions the partnership discovering
"hundreds of genes that boost yield" over the next decade. The
partnership may sell four generations of drought tolerance for each
crop, he said in an interview. Each new development will create "new
pricing opportunities" in line with the benefit they provide farmers, he said.

"Yield is the Holy Grail of agricultural research," Fraley said. "Today,
we have the tools to tackle that opportunity."

The partnership will speed new biotech seeds to market and increase the
probability of their success, doubling the net present value of
Monsanto's yield and stress projects, he said. New products will be sold
through Monsanto's DeKalb and Asgrow brands, its American Seeds unit and
licenses to other seedmakers.


BASF's plant research includes switching off genes, introducing others
and monitoring how those changes affect the plant's chemical production.
This metabolic profiling, or metanomics, has yielded 100,000 plants that
are monitored around the clock and a database of more than 35,000 genes,
Oakley said.

BASF's Hambrecht said he doesn't expect the partnership to develop into
a broader accord.

Globally, GM crop usage has soared 60-fold in the past decade, led by
the U.S., the principal grower, according to the International Service
for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. Much of the focus is
on the North American market as European farmers have yet to embrace the
technology in the same way.

The partnership is the second Monsanto has announced this month. DuPont
and Monsanto are collaborating on creating heart- healthy foods using
soybeans engineered to contain omega-3 fatty acids, with the first
products to be sold after 2010.

BASF said its work on developing higher-yielding potato plants will
continue outside of the Monsanto partnership.

BASF and Monsanto separately agreed to collaborate on developing methods
of controlling parasitic nematode worms that attack soybean plants.

-------------------- archived at --------------------


the news & information service of the
European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)

phone....... +49-531-5168746
fax......... +49-531-5168747
email....... hartmut.meyer(*)
skype....... hartmut_meyer