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Ag Industry Brief: AGCO Acquires Precision Planting, CropLogic Going Public, Plant-Based M&A, more

July 28, 2017

CropLogic to List on ASX After Acquiring Professional Ag Services

New Zealand in-field IoT provider CropLogic is set to go public on the Australian Stock Exchange. The company plans to raise $8 million in exchange for approximately 30% of its equity. The IPO follows an earlier $2 million funding round from individual investors earlier this year, and a $512,200 crowdfunding round in 2016.

The Christchurch-based company gathers field data and makes crop prescriptions and management recommendations based on proprietary models. The startup has an agreement with the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research to model potatoes and started trials of the system in other commodities such as corn, wheat, soybean and cotton in 2016. In 2015, CropLogic was one of seven startups to get a $450k grant from Callaghan Innovation to develop aerial imaging technology.

Last month CropLogic acquired acquisition of agronomic services company Professional Ag Services (ProAg) out of Washington State. “Strategic acquisitions provide CropLogic with immediate market access, relationships, and acres under management and have always been a fundamental part of our market entry strategy,” said Jamie Cairns, chief executive of CropLogic.

Read more about the IPO here.

Japanese Holistic Health Corp Buys Non-Dairy Cheese Maker

Japan’s global holistic healthcare company Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co has acquired Canadian dairy-free, food company Daiya for a reported $325.5 million. Daiya produces plant-based greek yogurt alternatives, pizzas, desserts, spreads, and dairy-free cheese. The products are sold in more than 25,000 grocery stores in the US, including Whole Foods, Kroger, Safeway and Publix, and other natural foods grocers. Daiya’s products are also available in Australia, Sweden, Mexico, and Hong Kong, among others. Otsuka hopes the acquisition will add to its nutraceuticals business, creating a plant-based platform, according to a statement.

AGCO Acquires Precision Planting from Monsanto

AGCO has agreed to purchase farm equipment company Precision Planting from Monsanto this week after a deal to sell to Deere & Co was challenged by the Justice Department over antitrust concerns. “We just didn’t see that there was a clear path going forward, that the DOJ was going to approve the transaction. We have a valuable business and people in limbo and it was just time to move on,” Michael Stern, CEO of Climate Corporation, the Monsanto subsidiary that runs the Precision Planting business, told Reuters

Marrone Bio Innovations Ships Biologicals to Morocco

Biological pest management and plant health product producer Marrone Bio Innovations has expanded its distribution to Africa this week selling its biofungicide to Morocco for use on tomatoes, grapes and cucurbits. Said Pam Marrone, CEO of the Davis, CA based firm, “Biologically-based Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is becoming a necessity for agricultural exporters in Morocco and other regions around the world. Specifically, biopesticides are increasingly being integrated into this new strategy to ensure ease of access to European and other markets with strict pesticide residue standards. In addition, consumer purchasing preferences demonstrate a growing trend towards food production safety and sustainability.” Read more here.

AgDevCo invests $255k in Tanzanian Poultry

Social impact investor AgDevCo has made a $255,000 debt investment in Kingchick Poultry, a women-owned Tanzanian producer of broiler chickens. The seven-year-old business, founded by Rose Sweya, produces 130,000 chickens per year and will use the funds to grow and modernize her operation. Said Sweya, “I would like KingChick to supply quality chickens at an affordable price to accommodate both lower and upper class people.” Read more here.

Biologicals Producer Inocucor to Open Production Facility in Denver

Canadian producer of biological crop inputs meant to improve crop yields, shorten growing periods and create healthier, more resilient soils for farmers and greenhouse growers, Inocucor, will produce its products in a new 30,000 sq. ft. facility in Denver, CO while also opening a Denver headquarters. The company’s move to Denver is supported by a performance-based Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit of $1,322,918, according to a press release. Inocucor recently completed a $29 million Series B funding round, with lead investor TPG Alternative and Renewable Technologies and participation from Cycle Capital Management, Desjardins Innovatech and Closed Loop Capital. Read more from AgFunderNews

Other News That’s Fit to Chew

  • More big ag consolidation may be on the way after years of low returns, says Agrimoney.
  • The Trump administration is ignoring recommendations to curb overfishing in New Jersey, according to the Boston Globe.
  • MacDonald’s relatively new CEO says he doubling down on technology to stay competitive, banking on order kiosks, mobile order and pay, and delivery, he told Business Insider.
  • US regulators say they need more time to review the Whole Foods, Amazon deal, causing Whole Foods to warn investors it may take until spring 2018 to close, reports the BBC .

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