KWS Offloads South American Corn Business to GDM

Seed Specialist KWS Divests Corn Business in South America to GDM

International seed expert KWS has finalized the sale of its corn business operations in Brazil and Argentina to the Argentine plant genetics firm GDM. Today, both entities formalized a binding agreement, marking a strategic move for KWS in line with its objectives regarding crop diversity and autonomy.

The deal encompasses all aspects of corn breeding and sales across South America, including Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, as well as the associated production facilities in Argentina and Brazil.

Nicolás Wielandt, Executive Board member overseeing the corn business, elucidates, “Our long-term growth and independent decision-making are pivotal for our entrepreneurial journey. In pursuit of this, we’ve strategically refocused our efforts to align with evolving agricultural needs and sustainability goals. This involves diversifying our crop portfolio, bolstering our presence in the global vegetable market, and meeting the rising demand for plant-based foods.”

Highlighting the company’s achievements in South America, Wielandt notes, “We’ve carved a significant niche in the regional corn market, achieving a commendable 10% market share in Brazil, the largest corn market, within just twelve years. However, to fully realize our strategic objectives, particularly in the vegetable and plant-based food sectors, we’ve chosen this opportune moment to divest our genetically modified (GM) corn seed business in South America.”

GDM, a renowned family-owned firm based in Argentina and a prominent player in plant genetics globally, will assume control of the acquired business.

Ignacio Bartolomé, CEO of GDM, emphasizes, “The amalgamation of KWS’s expertise in plant breeding and corn leadership with GDM’s proficiency in plant genetics, coupled with our focus on soybeans and wheat, creates a compelling synergy, fortifying our market position and advancing our company.”

KWS affirms its commitment to other segments such as vegetables, sugarbeet, and counter-seasonal breeding programs for the European corn and sugarbeet portfolio in Brazil, Chile, and Peru, which will remain under its purview. The European corn business remains unaffected by this transaction, with KWS continuing to assert its dominance, particularly in silage corn. As for the North American corn business, KWS is exploring various strategic options.

The sale is expected to yield sales proceeds in the mid three-digit million-euro range, subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Anticipated to conclude in the second quarter of 2024, the transaction is poised to significantly bolster KWS’s key financial metrics.”

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