On July 1, Solvay and Bayer announced the successful closing of Solvay's previously announced acquisition of Bayer’s global coatings business, with facilities in Méréville, France, and tolling operations in the U.S. and Brazil. The business is recognized globally for seed coating and seed enhancement products such as Peridiam, fluency powders, Certop, Pro-Ized Pigment, and Talkum, and its research and development capabilities for on-seed formulations. The Méréville facility's entire product portfolio, R&D projects and the business line's international tolling operations are now fully transferred to Solvay.
“This acquisition continues Solvay's strategy to strengthen our range of sustainable, bio-based solutions for agricultural customers, fully aligned to our G.R.O.W. strategy,” commented Michael Radossich, president of Solvay's Novecare business unit. “We are proud to welcome the legacy Bayer SeedGrowth coatings team to our Solvay agricultural specialties family.”
The Méréville facility has 36 permanent employees and conducts industry-leading research and development of application technologies for seeds, such as seed coating and filming processes, representing around 20% of the site’s activity, while the remaining 80% is dedicated to research and formulation of aqueous solutions called film-coaters. The film coaters developed at the Méréville site are exported and used in 35 countries all over the world.
Seed coatings can best be understood as the “glue” that allows any seed treatment product to bind to the actual seed. In combination, the active ingredient that is coated on the seed helps to protect seeds against insects and diseases that could prevent the seed from germinating or growing. Seed treatments are especially important for field crop seeds such as wheat, rapeseed, maize, sunflower, rice and soya, and vegetable seeds such as beetroot.
“For Bayer, the choice of Solvay as the owner of this business was a strategic one,” said Ralf Glaubitz, Head of Asset Management of Bayer's global SeedGrowth business. “The divestment allows us to reinvest in other priority areas within our crop science division, while enabling Solvay to bring the long-term potential of the global seed coatings business to fruition.”
Solvay will remain a strategic partner for Bayer's seed activities thanks to exclusive supplier status for film-coating to be used for Bayer SeedGrowth products on Bayer seeds for a period of at least five years.
Bayer and Solvay are committed to a smooth transition to ensure that customers will have uninterrupted access to the seed coating and seed enhancement products in the countries where they are currently sold.
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