LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany — German chemical company BASF plans to strengthen its crop protection business with the acquisition of Becker Underwood, a developer of seed-applied biological products, for a price of $1.02 billion.
The Ames, Iowa-based company specializes in technologies for biological seed treatment, seed treatment colors and polymers, as well as products in the areas of biological crop protection, turf and horticulture, animal nutrition and landscape colorants and coatings. It has 10 production sites worldwide and 479 employees.
“We are impressed with Becker Underwood’s ability to translate growers’ needs into innovative, tailor-made solutions that can promote higher yields while conserving resources. Becker Underwood is to become part of BASF and we are excited that together with our new colleagues we can continue expanding our competencies. Particularly in the rapidly-growing seed treatment market, we will be able to develop innovative solutions for agriculture,” said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, research executive director and member of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors responsible for the Agricultural Solutions segment.
As part of the acquisition, BASF’s Crop Protection division will create a strategic global business unit called Functional Crop Care. The unit will merge BASF’s existing research, development and marketing activities in the areas of seed treatment, biological crop protection, plant health, as well as water and resource management with those of Becker Underwood. Becker Underwood’s animal nutrition business will be integrated into BASF’s Nutrition & Health division