Nufarm Buys Ag Assets from Adama and Syngenta

25.10.2017 -

Australian farm chemicals producer Nufarm has agreed to pay a total of $540 million to acquire a suite of crop protection products, known as the Century Portfolio, from ChemChina subsidiary Adama Agricultural Solutions and Syngenta.

Adama and Syngenta are divesting the assets in order to meet European regulatory requirements relating to ChemChina’s $43 billion takeover of the Swiss seeds group.

Nufarm’s purchase, consisting of $490 million in cash and an estimated $50 million for inventory, includes 50 crop protection formulations for herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, seed treatments and plant growth regulators sold in 29 European markets.

Nufarm expects the Century Portfolio to generate revenues of roughly A$250 million ($195 million) and EBITDA of A$95-100 million in the 2019 financial year. The Victoria-headquartered group will fund most of the transaction (A$446 million) via a rights issue with the balance financed through existing debt facilities.

The transaction is expected to complete in early 2018, subject to European Commission approval of Nufarm as “a suitable purchaser” as well as regulatory clearance. Greg Hunt, managing director and CEO of Nufarm, said the deal strengthens his company’s presence in Europe and allows it to offer a more comprehensive portfolio in a number of very important crop segments.

“The products we are acquiring generate very attractive margins and are complementary to our existing European product range,” Hunt said. “They provide us with much broader offerings in the fungicides and insecticides segments and in our core European crops, including cereals, corn and trees, nuts, vines and vegetables. It also enables us to participate strongly in the important oilseed rape market.”

Nufarm will enter into transitional arrangements with Adama and Syngenta, including supply and toll manufacturing of relevant products, with longer term supply and production contracts to be put in place over a period of two to three years. This will include the transfer of production for most products to Nufarm’s existing facilities.

The company also disclosed that it is currently in exclusive discussions with another party to acquire a crop protection portfolio said to be highly complementary to Nufarm’s existing business and the Century Portfolio.

Nufarm is currently finalizing its due diligence and expects to complete the necessary transaction documentation in the coming weeks. The group said that if this purchase proceeds, it would be for a price of less than $100 million, with the business expected to generate revenues of approximately A$30 million ($23 million) in the 2019 fiscal year.