Nufarm pays $118m for more Euro ag chemical brands

Nufarm snaps up more Euro herbicides as DuPont and FMC shuffle portfolios


Nufarm has spent more than $800 million on European chemical brand acquisitions in the past two weeks.

Nufarm has spent more than $800 million on European chemical brand acquisitions in the past two weeks.

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Ag chemical giant FMC sells broadleaf spray products to Nufarm to avoid breaking European anti-trust laws

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Nufarm is paying almost $118 million to pick up another herbicide brand range in Europe.

The FMC portfolio, including stock worth about $6m, is mainly European broadleaf herbicide products used on cereal crops.

The product lines, based on four leading active ingredients, complement Nufarm's existing European herbicide range and the Century portfolio which it confirmed last month it was buying from Adama.

US-based FMC is selling its portfolio after last week confirming it bought a significant portion of the crop protection brands made by DuPont.

It must now meet European Commission requirements to ensure it does not have a monopoly position in sections of the herbicide market.

Likewise, the DuPont sell-off was also triggered by its merger with Dow Chremical Company and the new Dow-DuPont business needing to avoid breaching anti-trust rules as part of that deal.

The new portfolio is expected to be worth about $30m in sales for Australian-based Nufarm in the 2019-20 financial year (the first full year under Nufarm’s ownership).

These important herbicides further strengthen Nufarm’s position in cereal crops, which is Europe’s largest crop segment - Greg Hunt, Nufarm

The two largest markets for current sales are France and Germany, which are two of Nufarm’s key European strategic hubs.

No staff or factory of distribution assets, apart from the inventory, are included in the transaction, which still requires European Commission approval in the next few months.

Nufarm expects its new FMC range to have attractive near-term sales growth prospects, supported by a number of product formulations only recently launched.

Nufarm managing director, Greg Hunt.

Nufarm managing director, Greg Hunt.

Managing director, Greg Hunt, said the portfolio was highly complementary to Nufarm’s existing product range.

“These important herbicides further strengthen Nufarm’s position in cereal crops, which is Europe’s largest crop segment,” he said.

“They are highly complementary to Nufarm’s core phenoxy herbicide franchise with combinations of the two chemistry groups being widely used by growers to manage resistance issues.”

Mr Hunt said the portfolio acquisition fitted well with Nufarm's European market strategy and offered attractive economies of scale, particularly coming on top of the purchases from Adama.

“Both portfolios generate sustainably attractive margins and help strengthen Nufarm's position in the important European market,” he said.

Adama’s off-patent Century range in Europe is being bought by Nufarm for $690m, also as a consequence of chemical company mergers which have prompted European competition regulators demand a sell-off.

Adama’s parent company, ChemChina, concluded its $57 billion  acquisition of Syngenta mid-year requiring the conglomerate to off-load some of its farm product range.

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