Clearwater International has advised on the sale of Dublin-based crop protection chemicals developer, AgriGuard Limited (“AgriGuard”), to agricultural chemicals manufacturer and marketer, Mitsui Agriscience International (“MASI”) – the Belgian-based subsidiary of Mitsui & Co Limited (“Mitsui”), headquartered in Japan.
The transaction represents Clearwater International’s eighth chemicals sector deal since January 2008, all of which have involved an overseas vendor or acquirer.
AgriGuard has been successful in developing and registering a portfolio of post-patent products focused in the arable crop sector which is targeted as a key growth area in MASI’s long-term European expansion strategy. In addition, Agriguard’s understanding of the registration process for crop chemicals in the European Union (EU) makes it a particularly attractive target for MASI. The acquisition will include AgriGuard’s full product range – which includes herbicides, pesticides, insecticides and plant growth regulators – with their associated intellectual property, as well as the transfer of staff.
The acquisition will contribute to the growth of MASI’s agrochemical distribution interests in Europe. These currently include Certis Europe, which has direct sales in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy, and Spiess Urania in Germany, which also operates in Poland and Hungary. AgriGuard, whose main business is in the UK and Ireland, will trade alongside Certis Europe’s UK business.
Brian Parker, former owner, AgriGuard
Multinational chemicals companies, primarily based in Asia and North America, are increasingly looking to Europe for growth, consolidating the global market. This deal follows the pattern, with MASI looking to improve its European crop chemicals offering via the acquisition of a business with proven knowledge of EU regulations and legislation.
“Multinational chemicals groups are increasingly looking for M&A advice from sector specialists, regardless of either party’s location . Our strong track record in chemicals transactions, particularly cross-border deals, is testament to this trend.”