Former DowDuPont division Corteva Inc., an Indianapolis-based agricultural chemical and seed company, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire one of the largest independent biologicals firms in the industry, Stoller Group, Inc., for $1.2 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023, pending regulatory approvals and customary closing requirements.
Three-year-old Corteva provides crop protection chemicals and seeds to U.S. farmers and has grown quickly through innovation, R&D collaborations, licensing and distribution agreements, and acquisitions. It employs 21,000 people.
Houston-based Stoller is a 50-year-old international leader in plant science and physiology with 17 subsidiaries, sales in more than 70 countries, and projected 2022 revenue of $400 million. The company is known for its superior relationships with farmers and responsiveness to their changing needs.
“Biologicals provide farmers with sustainably-advantaged tools that complement crop protection technologies, and collectively, can work to address global challenges around food security and climate change,” Chuck Magro, Corteva’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. “Stoller represents a leader in the biologicals industry given its commercial presence and market expansion potential, while also delivering attractive growth and operating margins.”
Earlier in 2022, Corteva acquired another biologicals company, the Spanish microbiological technology firm Symborg.
Stoller’s products and technology aim to maximize plant growth and enhance yield, taking into account environmental challenges such as extreme temperatures, drought, nutrient imbalance, and sub-optimal soil conditions.
“[We] have successfully helped growers around the world increase their productivity and improve their sustainability. We are proud to join forces with Corteva as we share a vision of helping farmers succeed in growing the nutritious food the world relies on,” Guillermo de la Borda, President and CEO of Stoller, said in a statement.
Stoller’s purchase price of $1.2 billion in cash, which will be paid at closing, represents an enterprise value multiple of about 12x, based on the company’s expected EBITDA for 2022 on a stand-alone basis.