Novozymes, a Danish company that employs more than 465 people at its North American headquarters in Franklinton, will acquire the crop science subsidiary of a German conglomerate, continuing to beef up its bioagriculture business.
Novozymes announced this morning it will pay $275 million for EMD/Merck Crop BioScience, which is owned by Merck KGaA of Germany. That company isn't affiliated with U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co.
The acquisition will give Novozymes a company that makes natural inoculants to improve the health of crops such as soybeans, peanuts, corn and wheat. EMD/Merck, which is based in Milwaukee and employs about 165 people, will be added to Novozymes' BioBusiness unit.
Novozymes is the world's largest producer of enzymes used to make a variety of products, including ethanol. The company entered the bioag business in 2007 when it bought a Canadian company.
The latest deal is expected to close by May.
“EMD/Merck Crop BioScience has a strong strategic fit with our existing BioAg business,” Novozymes CEO Steen Riisgaard said in a prepared statement. “Sustainable products and technologies will in the future play an even greater role in the agricultural industry as they allow effective and more sustainable ways to grow crops.”