May. 30, 2018
Following publication on May 25 of the final commitments given by Bayer to the EU Commission, KWS SAAT SE yesterday (Monday, May 28, 2018) issued a non-binding offer to Bayer AG for its global vegetable seed business, which operates primarily under the name Nunhems. KWS is thus renewing a non-binding bid it made in January 2018 and is offering Bayer and its shareholders attractive terms and conditions for the sale of the vegetable seed business. In order to complete the transaction with Monsanto, Bayer AG had assured the antitrust authorities that it would sell crop science businesses, including its vegetable seed business.
“We decided to make a move now to get the ball rolling,” said KWS CEO Duenbostel. KWS let itself “be guided” by a multiple of close to 17 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the proposed price, in line with what Bayer agreed to pay for Monsanto, said Duenbostel.
If Nunhems were acquired by KWS, the agricultural sector, farmers and consumers alike would benefit from the sale to an independent seed company without an agrochemicals division. One of KWS’ prime goals is to enhance sustainable agriculture by developing resource-saving, high-yielding varieties – including in vegetable breeding to a greater extent in the future. Both KWS and Nunhems have driven numerous innovations in the past such as to provide farmers and consumers with a diverse range of high-quality products.
As one of the leading international plant breeding companies, and backed by more than 160 years of experience, KWS operates successfully as an independent seed specialist in many markets. KWS’ particular focus is on agricultural crops. With its strong product performance, particular customer proximity and strategic industry partnerships, KWS is excellently positioned. If and when the chances present themselves, KWS aims to continue leveraging growth opportunities through company acquisitions as it moves forward. As a Dutch vegetable seed company with a long tradition, Nunhems has also been a respected international leader for many years. With its products, expertise and strong customer centricity, Nunhems is a strategically sensible complement to KWS’ existing portfolio and would dovetail seamlessly into KWS’ corporate culture and its long-term orientation.