US-based agriculture group Monsanto has announced the €546m acquisition of De Ruiter Seeds, the Dutch seed company, in a bid to strengthen its vegetable seed business.
The deal, said Monsanto chief financial officer Terrell Crews, is expected to turn the group's vegetable seed operation into a US$1bn (€632.9m) revenue business by 2012.
"De Ruiter Seeds is a leading provider of high-quality products to growers within the protected-culture vegetable seed market," said Mr Crews. "This acquisition represents an opportunity to not only transform, but to further grow our vegetable seed business in a high value, fast-growing market segment."
The move is expected to bring a number of mutual benefits to both companies, with De Ruiter breeders able to take advantage of Monsanto's experience and research in market-assisted breeding.
Biense Visser, De Ruiter CEO, said: "De Ruiter's investment in high-quality seeds, our leadership in the protected culture market, and our dedicated professionals will be a valuable addition to Monsanto’s business."