Syngenta-Pioneer license, Novozymes purchase of EMD Crop BioScience

Cooperation and acquisitions continue in the seed and crop protection business. Syngenta and DuPont just signed a corn rootworm trait licensing agreement. And Novozymes purchased the Crop BioScience business from Merck KGaA. These two events are part of a growing business model that involves competitors cooperating.


Syngenta has agreed to license its Agrisure corn rootworm trait to DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred. This deal could be worth over $400 million in cumulative payments, according to a news release from both companies.

The license is a non-exclusive, global license for the trait that provides protection from underground pests like corn rootworm. Pioneer also has the right to stack the Agrisure trait with others. Pioneer reported in the news release that it will use the trait in its Optimum AcreMax family of products.

Novozymes-EMD Crop BioScience

Novozymes just announced it will purchase Merck’s Crop BioScience business including EMD Crop BioScience for $275 million. This purchase is designed to strengthen Novozymes position in the growing biological market for agriculture, according to a Merck news release.

Meanwhile, Merck’s Bernd Reckmann reports, “The Crop BioScience business is focused on a specific segment within the agricultural industry and has very limited overlap with other parts of Merck’s business.”

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