Bayer Buys U.S. Biotech Company

Bayer CropScience has entered into an agreement to purchase Athenix Corp., a privately-held independent biotechnology company headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC. The acquisition of Athenix and its innovative technology platform will boost Bayer CropScience´s ability to make available novel technology and complete agricultural solutions to growers worldwide.

Athenix has an extensive herbicide tolerance and insect control trait development platform, particularly for corn and soybean. The acquisition will also bolster Bayer CropScience’s trait platform for its established core crops such as oilseeds, cotton, rice, and wheat. The acquisition complements the fast-growing BioScience business of Bayer CropScience by significantly extending its research & development (R&D) presence in North America.

Athenix employs some of the world’s leading researchers in the agricultural biotech industry. The workforce of about 65 employees has extensive expertise in commercial gene discovery and generating commercial events, and a proven track record in successfully developing products.

Athenix will also strengthen Bayer CropScience’s R&D pipeline through its outstanding collection of genes. The acquisition will allow Bayer CropScience to strengthen its attractiveness as a partner to other stakeholders in the seed business worldwide and will generate attractive additional trait fee income beyond the income streams based on Bayer CropScience`s current trait technology.

“As part of our long-term strategy for innovation and growth, we intend to strengthen the position of Bayer CropScience in the seeds and traits market. This acquisition underpins the expansion of our BioScience core crop platform and allows Bayer CropScience to create a strong research platform in North America, the most important seed technology market of the world,” says Professor Friedrich Berschauer, chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience.

“We are pleased to become part of Bayer CropScience, a global agribusiness leader,” says Mike Koziel, Athenix CEO. “The combined talents and capabilities of Bayer CropScience and Athenix will accelerate the market introduction of highly innovative new products that will directly address the global demand for superior agricultural productivity. We look forward to offering an enhanced line of products with increased productivity, profitability and sustainability to Bayer CropScience customers.

The acquisition is subject to premerger notification to the relevant U.S. authorities. The final purchase price is yet to be disclosed.

(Source: Bayer CropScience)

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