Agribusiness

Monsanto exits Intergrain

Grain Central, September 14, 2016

Monsanto this week announced it has exited its minority shareholding in Australian wheat breeding company, InterGrain.

The decision, which took effect on August 31, was taken as part of an ongoing review of strategic business opportunities, Monsanto said in a statement issued this week.

InterGrain’s two remaining shareholders, Grains Research Development Council (GRDC) and the West Australian Agriculture Authority (WAAA), have purchased Monsanto’s 26 percent equity stake.

Monsanto said its exit from the business had been a well-planned and amicable process.

The Collaboration Agreement between Monsanto and InterGrain will continue for the short term, enabling InterGrain to finalise breeding program work undertaken in 2016.

Monsanto said it believed its focused investment on new technology platforms – such as new Herbicide Tolerant (HT) canola traits, soil microbials and data science — will continue to add value to Australian grain growers.

“Monsanto is committed to delivering innovative technology platforms to help Australian grain growers remain globally competitive and sustainably produce quality food & fibre for a growing world,” it said.

The Western Australian Agriculture Authority (WAAA) now holds a 62pc sequity stake in Intergrain and the GRDC holds a 38pc stake.

InterGrain Chairman David Falconer said: “InterGrain understands commercial reasons behind Monsanto’s decision.

“Over the past six years, InterGrain has had the opportunity to capitalise on Monsanto technologies such as the wheat chipper and high throughput molecular market platform.

“The benefits of these technologies are embedded in the InterGrain germplasm pipeline and in time will be realised through commercial products.”

Mr Falconer said InterGrain enjoyed a positive relationship with Monsanto and the exit was being undertaken in a planned and amicable manner, allowing InterGrain to complete planned research activities for 2016.

“Plant breeding requires a long term commitment and the InterGrain Board and Management are working closely with the remaining Shareholders, WAAA and GRDC to assess new opportunities for the wheat and barley breeding programs,” he said.

“InterGrain is proud of its achievements over the past 8 years, having made some significant contributions to the industry. The barley program is highly successful, with key varieties such as La Trobe, Flinders and Spartacus CL, while the outlook for the wheat breeding program is positive, evidenced by the recent release of Ninja (high yielding ANW) and Chief CL Plus (high yielding two gene imi line).”

Source: Monsanto Corporation, Intergrain

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