Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dupon't Pioneer Hi-Bred Buys Two Seed Companies (DD; MON)

Pioneer should book $5 billion in seed sales next year. First up, Zack's Analyst blog:
DuPont Buys Two Seed Makers
EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. (DD - Analyst Report), the world’s second- largest seed maker announced that its Pioneer Hi-Bred seed unit has acquired Washington Court House, Ohio-based Seed Consultants Inc. and Lake Providence, Louisiana-based Terral Seed. These companies had been distributing seeds under the Pioneer trademark.

DuPont’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., operates in the seed industry and has seed production facilities located throughout the world. Seed production is performed directly by the company or contracted with independent growers and conditioners. The acquisitions are in sync with Pioneer’s PROaccess business strategy, which was introduced in December 2008. Through the strategy Pioneer aims to make available its seed genetics to more growers around the world through a network of partnerships and new brands.

Earlier this month, Pioneer completed acquisitions of other ProAccess partners, including Hoegemeyer Hybrids of Hooper, Nebraska; NuTech Seed of Ames, Iowa; and AgVenture Inc. of Kentland, Indiana.
DuPont’s Agriculture and Nutrition segment’s sales inched up 2% to $1.3 billion on a 5% rise in volumes in its recently reported third quarter. DuPont has divested many businesses in the segment, which led to lower top-line growth. Yet the segment is experiencing higher sales in the North American seed business.

With the introduction of new hybrids in 2010, the seed business grew significantly in North Americaduring the third quarter of 2010 with the corn share being 35%, a year-over-year increase of 3%, and the soybean share being 31%, a 5% increase from the year-ago level. DuPont ranks sixth in crop protection chemicals and second in seeds....MORE
A bit of backround from the linkvault, Reuters via the New York Times, August '09:
Monsanto and DuPont Heat Up Rivalry Over Seeds
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s getting dirty down on the farm.
As U.S. farmers prepare to harvest billions of bushels of corn and soybeans — main ingredients in food, livestock feed and transportation fuel around the world — the two titans of seed technology, Monsanto and DuPont, are ramping up their rivalry to new heights.

DuPont is accusing Monsanto of illegal anti-competitive practices, while Monsanto counters that DuPont is engaging in a covert smear campaign that borders on fraud.

The chief executive of Monsanto, Hugh Grant, this week sent a letter, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, to the DuPont chairman, Charles O. Holliday Jr., accusing the company of a “serious breach of business ethics” and requesting that a special committee of DuPont’s independent directors investigate what Mr. Grant called an “attack” on Monsanto’s seed business.

Monsanto executives claim that DuPont has supported forged documents and secretly financed Monsanto critics....MORE
The seed biz is so much more interesting than Hollywood hijinks.