Aug 12, 2019
Marrone Bio acquires Finnish seed treatment and fertilizer company

Marrone Bio Innovations, a sustainable bioprotection and plant health solutions company, announced Aug. 8 that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Pro Farm Technologies OY. The move will increase Marrone Bio’s market share and global platform in the $4.6 billion seed- and soil-treatment market.

Pro Farm Marrone BioWith the acquisition of Pro Farm, Marrone Bio will add proprietary nutrient and biostimulant technology and products for seed and foliar treatments to its portfolio.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, subject to satisfaction of customary conditions. Pro Farm is being acquired for an agreed enterprise value of $31.8 million, including a combination of $6.2 million cash and 12.7 million shares of Marrone Bio stock to be paid to Pro Farm’s equity holders, debt holders and advisors upon the closing of the transaction, as well as the opportunity for potential payment of a total of up to $7.5 million of additional shares of stock deliverable from 2021 through 2024 based on the achievement of agreed commercial milestones.

Pro Farm, based in Finland, expands Marrone Bio’s international presence with a portfolio of products with a new mode of action to stimulate plant growth and improve plant health, resulting in improved yields and crop quality.

The process

The Pro Farm manufacturing process begins with lignin — the key structural material found in wood and bark. Lignin is extracted as a byproduct from the pulp and paper industry, which Pro Farm converts into a purified derivative called lignosulfonate. The lignosulfonate is then combined in proprietary and patent-protected formulations that are highly concentrated and bio-available.  The resulting plant stimulants encourage earlier plant establishment, more robust plant emergence and overall improved plant health.

Pro Farm’s technology is used in seed and foliar treatments in the major row and specialty crops of corn, cereals, sunflowers, oilseed rape (canola), sugar beets and vegetables. Other crops are in development. It has distribution agreements servicing most of the major global agricultural production areas, with particular strength in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and expansion under way in Latin America, North America, Africa and Asia. 

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