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Agrimarketing : September 2009
12 Agri Marketing September 2009 Sanofi-aventis and Merck & Co, Inc sign a definitive agreement under which Merck will sell its 50% interest in the companies' current animal health joint venture, Merial, to Sanofi-aventis for $4 billion. In addition, Merck, Sanofi-aven- tis and Schering-Plough announced the signing of a call option agree- ment. Under the terms of the agree- ment, following the closing of the Merck/Schering-Plough merger, Sanofi-aventis would have an option to combine the Intervet/Schering- Plough Animal Health business with Merial to form an animal health joint venture that would be owned equally by the new Merck and Sanofi-aventis. SmartStax, a new corn trait combination developed in collaboration by Dow Agrosciences and Monsanto, receives registration from the U.S. EPA and regulatory authorization from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). It remains on track for a 2010 commercial launch. The agencies allow reduction of refuge from 20% to 5% in the U.S. Corn Belt and Canada and from 50% to 20% in the U.S. Cotton Belt. Bayer CropScience formalizes a long-term alliance with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), one of the world's leading institutions in the development of new wheat varieties. The agreement aims to improve the productivity and sustainability of cereal production utilizing modern techniques. Trimble acquires the assets of CTN Data Service, LLC, creator of Farm Works software. The acquisition expands the company's information management capabilities and offers agricultural customers significant new capabilities in their precision farming operations. Monsanto re-enters the wheat seed business by acquiring WestBred, LLC, a Montana-based research and development company for cereal grains that specializes in wheat germplasm, the crop's seed genetic material. The purchase price was $45 million. Monsanto will form a Wheat Development Advisory Group, made up of rep- resentatives throughout the wheat value chain, to help the company as it works to develop and apply new technology for wheat. Heading the new wheat business unit is Sean Gardner. Veteran sorghum seed professional Mike Northcutt joins the North American sales and development team of Advanta U.S. Raised on a farm near Tulia, TX, his family grew one of the first seed production fields of Sorghum X Sudangrass hybrids, called Haygrazer. CME Group names Timothy Andriesen as Managing Dir/ Agricultural Commodities where he will be responsible for developing and executing the global business and sales strategy for the company's agri- cultural commodities product line He was most recently with National Australia Bank/ nabCapital and has also been with Zurich Capital Markets, Louis Dreyfus Corporation, Rabobank International and Koch Industries. AgRobotics, LLC and GVM Inc, form a strategic alliance and marketing partnership strengthening their GPS/GIS telematics offering which allows ag retailers to schedule, monitor, control and track the AgRobotics soil sampling ser- vices using the on-the-go AutoProbe machine. Mahindra USA promotes Mani Iyer to Pres. He replaces Anirban Ghosh, who returns to Mumbai, India, to serve as VP, Business Planning for the farm equipment sector of M&M Ltd. John Deere will establish a manu- facturing and parts center near Moscow, Russia. The company has been doing business in Russia for more than 100 years and has a network of more than 70 sales locations across the country with employment in Russia at Deere and its independent dealer- ships approaching 2,000 people. Becker Underwood names Paul Holliday as Dir of Mktg, Sls and Operations for North America. He now leads a consolidated U.S. business including inoculants, seed (more on page 14) MARKETING NEWS Fuzion, LLC, a startup company headquartered in Ft. Collins, CO, assumes the day-to-day management of XSAg.com chemical exchange business while working on a pathway to transfer ownership from XS, Inc. "XSAg.com and its patented technology will become the cornerstone of the company," says Fuzion CEO Mike Steffeck. "Besides being the premier crop protection e-commerce trading business, it also has enormous capabilities beyond trading. In addition to the nearly 100,000 registered users and a database of over one million dealers and growers, the business offers a patented commerce system that manages the complexities of financial settlement, freight, logistics and regulatory compliance as well as an experienced and dedicated sales and management team. "Channel and supplier consolidation has begun to limit market access for suppliers as well as limit options for independent dealers and growers," Steffeck says. "Fuzion intends to create the lowest cost and most innovative business model to serve that segment." AM Gardner Iyer
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