DuPont to Buy Microbials Specialist Taxon Biosciences
DuPont has announced plans to buy California biotech company Taxon Biosciences, specialized in microbiomes for development of biological crop products.
Terms of the deal, set to close during the second quarter, were not disclosed.
Taxon's products for pest control and plant quality will help DuPont create new seed, leaf and soil products for row crops, fruits and vegetables, the US chemical giant said.
Frank DeGennaro, director of DuPont Biologicals, added that the "broad intellectual property holdings" of the company founded in 2000 will "complement and enhance our in-house microbial discovery programs."
Testing of Taxon products is expected to begin this year, and DuPont expects the first products to be launched within five years.
DuPont's agrochemicals arm generated more than $1 billion in annual sales of biologicals in 2014.
Many global agrochemical and seed market leaders, including DuPont's US rival Monsanto and Germany's Bayer, are also pursuing bolt-on acquisitions to broaden their biological products for plants. Experts forecast growth rates of 10-15% percent for this market segment, which currently counts around $2 billion in annual sales.