KWS to fully focus on hybrid potato breeding and divest its conventional seed potato business
Einbeck, 2016, April 12th
KWS is selling its conventional seed potato business to Stet Holland B.V. An agreement to that effect was signed on April 11, 2016. The transaction is expected to be completed by mid-2016.
The KWS Group’s seed potato business is steered by its subsidiary KWS POTATO B.V., which is based in Emmeloord, the Netherlands. Varieties and potato breeding material dedicated to French fries, crisps and table potatoes for traditional export markets are to be sold to Stet Holland B.V., a Dutch company also based in Emmeloord.
“The future owner Stet Holland offers good perspectives for a successful continuation of our conventional potato business while KWS will fully focus its efforts in potato utilizing its resources and know-how as a breeder to develop hybrid varieties,” noted Peter Hofmann, member of the Executive Board of KWS SAAT SE. “Hybrid breeding in potato and multiplication via seed instead of tubers is an entirely new but highly promising approach that †has considerable advantages compared to conventional breeding. We have been working in this innovative field since 2011 and have meanwhile achieved significant progress” Hofmann added.
Peter Ton, General Manager of Stet Holland commented on the acquisition, “KWS’ seed potato business is an excellent fit for Stet as the markets for the current KWS and Stet varieties are very complementary to each other. Taking over KWS’ variety portfolio, seed potato production, and sales channels will enable us to create synergies and gain presence in key markets and specific processing segments. KWS’ varieties, breeding material and expert employees, combined with a good customer base, will help us to strengthen Stet’s position in the seed potato market.”
The parties have agreed not to disclose the financial terms of this transaction.
KWS will continue its hybrid potato breeding activities under the roof of KWS POTATO B.V. The breeding station in Emmeloord, the Netherlands, is an important part of KWS’ global research network and offers excellent conditions for these activities.
KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. In fiscal 2014/15, 4,700 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of € 986 million and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of € 113 million. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for some 160 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, potatoes, rapeseed and sunflowers. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield and resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested € 174 million last fiscal year in research and development, 17.7 percent of its net sales. For more information: www.kws.com. Follow us on Twitterģ at https://twitter.com/KWS_Group.
*All figures exclude the joint ventures AGRELIANT GENETICS LLC., AGRELIANT GENECTICS INC., GENECTIVE S.A.
About Stet Holland B.V.
Stet Holland is an international seed potato company. Stet Holland has a strong basis of affiliated seed potato growers in various regions in the Netherlands. With the Stet varieties, local potato growers are able to respond dynamically to the needs of their markets and market segments such as processing industry and table export markets. Stet †Holland realizes an annual turnover of approximately € 20 million. Stet Holland is a subsidiary of HZPC Holding and acts independently from HZPC seed potato business. Stet Holland develops its own strategy and varieties, based on the genotypes developed within the research center of HZPC Holding. Stet Holland variety portfolio including Amarin, Bellini, Dirosso, Safari, Sultana, Triplo, Vitalia and Zina Red,† aims to optimally match with local growing conditions to ensure good yields.