Promoting innovation and climate action in agriculture: European Investment Bank provides a €200 million loan to KWS SAAT

Einbeck, June 29, 2020

Funds to be used by German seed company for research and development

European Investment Bank provides a €200 million loan to KWS SAAT

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a €200 million loan to KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA, a leading international seed producer based in Germany. KWS uses cutting-edge plant breeding and seed production methods to maximise yields and improve the resilience of plants to diseases, pests and abiotic stresses, such as extreme weather caused by climate change. It has one of the broadest seed portfolios in the industry, comprising 11 of the 13 most important crops, including corn, sugarbeet, wheat, rye, rapeseed and vegetables.

The funds provided by the EU bank are to be used by KWS for research and development in the EU. Like KWS, the EIB hopes that these funds will make a valuable contribution to the objectives of the European Green Deal, and in particular the Farm to Fork strategy developed by the European Commission.

The EIB Vice-President responsible for innovation and for operations in Germany, Ambroise Fayolle, said: “Innovation in new seed varieties is vitally important if we want to ensure agricultural productivity under changing agro-climatic conditions. The only way we will be able to select plants that can withstand changing abiotic and biotic stresses and use nutrients and water from the soil more efficiently is through targeted research. The development of improved, not genetically modified varieties of agricultural crops helps reduce the use of pesticides and fertilisers and significantly contributes to sustainable agriculture. As the EU Climate Bank, we are strongly committed to finance mitigation, adaptation and many other relevant climate related projects. I therefore very much welcome this partnership with KWS to promote the production of new seed varieties for the European market.”

KWS’s CFO Eva Kienle added: “We are delighted with the European Investment Bank’s strong commitment to innovation and climate action in agriculture. A major joint effort is required to respond to the challenges of climate change and climate action in agriculture. As a leading plant breeding company, we invest around €200 million a year in research and development to provide farmers with continuously innovative seed varieties. The attractive conditions of the EIB loan will help us optimise our financing structure even further.”

Background information

EIB
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

Press contact EIB:
Christof Roche, c.roche@remove-this.eib.org
Tel.: +352 43 79 89013
Mobile: +32 479 65 05 88
Website: www.eib.org/press
Press Office: +352 4379 21000, press@remove-this.eib.org

Logo European Investment Bank (EIB)

About KWS*
KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. In the fiscal year 2018/19, more than 5,500 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of EUR 1.1 billion and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 150 million. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for more than 160 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, rapeseed, sunflowers and vegetables. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to increase farmers’ yields and to improve resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested approximately EUR 200 million last fiscal year in research and development.

*All indications excluding the results from the companies accounted for using the equity method AGRELIANT GENETICS LLC, AGRELIANT GENETICS INC. and KENFENG – KWS SEEDS CO., LTD.

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