KWS acquires tomato breeding company

Einbeck/Wageningen, March 10, 2021

KWS is consolidating the expansion of its new vegetable seed business with the acquisition of the vegetable seed company Geneplanta S.r.l., domiciled in Noceto/Parma, Italy. The Company, founded in 2011, focuses on breeding, production and sales of tomato varieties. Its main sales areas are realized in Italy and Mexico.

KWS is developing its own vegetable seed business through a greenfield approach with organic growth, supplemented by suitable acquisitions and the sales of licensed-in varieties.
Tomato is one of the world’s most important and for KWS one of the most strategically relevant vegetable crops along with peppers, cucumbers, melons and watermelons.

“We are delighted to welcome the Geneplanta team into the KWS family,” said Dr. Léon Broers, KWS Executive Board Member responsible for Research & Development and the Business Unit Vegetables. “They have established an attractive tomato portfolio within a relatively short period of time for the plant breeding industry”.
“With the introduction of Geneplanta, we have gained access to high-performance genetic material and will be able to significantly accelerate the development of our own tomato breeding programs globally”, added Paul Degreef, Head of the Business Unit Vegetables at KWS.

Geneplanta’s entire business will be integrated into the KWS Vegetables Business Unit.
The acquisition was completed on March 9th, 2021.

Background: New business unit for vegetable seeds

In the summer of 2019, KWS announced its entry into the long-term growth market for vegetable seeds. This move included the acquisition of Dutch vegetable breeding company Pop Vriend Seeds, the world market leader in spinach seed. Over recent months, KWS has been concentrating on staffing the new business division as well as on launching its own breeding activities in Spain, Brazil and Turkey.

The global vegetable seed volume is estimated at approximately six billion euros annually and a growth rate of roughly five percent per year. A stronger awareness of healthy, vitamin-rich nutrition as well as global population development are the key drivers of this growth.

About KWS*
KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. More than 5,700 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of around €1.3 billion in fiscal 2019/2020. 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, vegetables, rapeseed and sunflowers. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield for farmers and plants’ resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested more than €200 million last fiscal year in research and development.

* All figures excluding the shares of the equity-accounted companies AGRELIANT GENETICS LLC., AGRELIANT GENETICS INC. and KENFENG – KWS SEEDS CO., LTD.

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