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Bayer CropSciences vegetable seed business Nunhems acquires US lettuce seed company Paragon Seedqrcode

Dec. 12, 2007

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Dec. 12, 2007
Bayer CropScience announced today that its vegetable seed business Nunhems has acquired the U.S. seed company Paragon Seed Inc.. Based in Salinas, California, Paragon Seed specialises in the breeding, production and sales of lettuce varieties. The company with sales of US-Dollar 8.5 million 2006 [approximately EUR 5.8 million] belongs to the marketleaders in the United States in this segment and supplies the U.S. market as well as Mexico. With this step Nunhems strengthens its position in the lettuce seed market in the Americas. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The lettuce seed market with a volume of about US-Dollar 60 million [about EUR 41 million] is one of the three most important vegetable markets in the United States. Nunhems is already a leader in this segment in Europe. Furthermore, the acquisition offers the exchange of seed production know-how. Nunhems will continue to market the newly acquired varieties under the Paragon brand to assure continuation of the strong quality image in the market.

“The acquisition of Paragon is our fourth transaction in the vegetable seed segment this year. This clearly shows that we are committed to develop our promising vegetable seed business towards future growth”, said Prof. Friedrich Berschauer, chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience.

And Douwe Zijp, Chief Executive Officer of Nunhems added: “Through this acquisition we can combine Paragon’s expertise in breeding and seed production with Nunhems’ know-how in breeding disease resistant varieties and Nunhems’ molecular breeding capabilities.”

Vic Heintzberger, President of Paragon Seed Inc., comments: “By becoming a part of Nunhems we will ensure that our genetics and our seed production expertise will be supported on a global scale and developed further so that we can offer growers new choices for lettuce seeds.”

Bayer CropScience consequently pursues its strategy to further strengthen its portfolio in the vegetable seed business. In early 2007 the company acquired Unilevers processing tomato seed business followed by the acquisition of the assets of the Korean company SeedEx specializing in hot peppers and Brassica varieties in the summer of 2007. In October 2007 Nunhems acquired all assets relating to the asparagus breeding program from the Dutch Teboza Group.

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