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Land O’Lakes To Buy Agricultural Biotech Company For $17.2M

A Land O’Lakes subsidiary will have its plant breeding operations bolstered following the completion of the deal.

Land O’Lakes To Buy Agricultural Biotech Company For $17.2M
Land O’Lakes has purchased Ceres, an agricultural biotechnology company from California, for $17.2 million.
 
The deal, announced Friday, will complement Forage Genetics International (FGI), a Land O’Lakes subsidiary, with new advanced plant breeding operations that can improve crop productivity and quality. In particular, Ceres is known for developing augmented seeds for food, animal feed, fiber and fuel crops, like corn.
 
“Land O’Lakes is interested in providing a holistic forage offering to our customers,” said Chris Policinski, CEO of the Arden Hills-based food cooperative. Policinski noted the crops it would expand production of included alfalfa, corn silage and forage sorghum, which is a natural sweetener popular within the gluten-free market.
 
“The acquisition brings complementary strengths together, adds new advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to the FGI research and development pipeline and accelerates the process of bringing new forage solutions to existing and new markets,” Policinski added.
 
Land O’Lakes are planning to acquire all of Ceres’ outstanding capital stock for 40 cents per share, an 81 percent premium from the company’s closing stock price on Thursday. News of the deal catapulted Ceres stock in morning trading. Shares were priced at 38 cents at the time of publication, nearly par with Land O’Lakes’ merger offer.
 
The all-cash deal will be subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.
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