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Crystal Crop Protection, once backed by Everstone, to acquire Bayer India’s four hybrid seeds biz
Photo Credit: Pexels

Agrochemical company Crystal Crop Protection Ltd (CCPL), once backed by Everstone Capital, has agreed to buy German firm Bayer India’s cotton, mustard, pearl millet and grain sorghum hybrids from Bayer CropScience Ltd in the country. 

The Delhi-headquartered R&D (research and development)-based crop solution company “has entered into a definitive agreement with Bayer to acquire cotton, mustard, pearl millet and grain sorghum hybrids in India,” the company said in a statement. 

The business acquired by CCPL represents a very small portion of Bayer’s Indian and global business portfolio. Both organisations will work together to close the transaction by December 2021, it added. 

Bayer CropScience Ltd, Bayer’s publicly listed Indian arm, is a manufacturer and supplier of crop agricultural products. It will continue to drive the business until full transfer to CCPL. 

Financial details remained undisclosed. 

“…This acquisition is a step forward to provide high performance seeds for sustainable growth of Indian agriculture,” NK Aggarwal, chairman, CCPL, said.

Singapore-based Everstone Capital is an India-focused private equity firm which had invested Rs 150 crore in CCPL to pick up 9.1% stake in 2011.

Five years later in 2016, it sold a 5.79% stake in CCPL to Redson Cropcare Pvt Ltd for Rs 150 crore, thereby taking out the principal. Redson was later merged with CCPL. 

In 2019, Everstone Capital exited CCPL selling its entire stake and making sub-par returns. 

With the latest portfolio acquisition from Bayer, CCPL claims it will become strong in its field crops seed business as it comes with powerful brands and R&D capabilities. 

Sarjiwan Manhas, CEO, seed business, Crystal Crop Protection, said, “These acquired crops have an excellent strategic fit in our seeds portfolio and will support us in improving our footprints in Indian seeds market.” 

D Narain, senior Bayer representative, South Asia and CEO & MD, Bayer CropScience, said, “While we have divested a small portion our business portfolio, Bayer remains fully committed to the long-term growth of Indian agriculture and will continue to bring next-generation technologies that drive agricultural productivity, enable farmer prosperity and promote sustainable agriculture.” 

Cyrstal Crop Protection’s other acquisitions

In January 2020, CCPL had acquired three insecticide brands from US-based Corteva Agriscience

In 2018, CCPL had made four acquisitions including three insecticide and fungicide brands from agrochemical and seeds major Syngenta AG, four insecticide and herbicide brands from US-based diversified chemical company FMC Corporation, three seed brands from Syngenta in April and a chemicals plant from Cytec India Specialty Chemicals & Materials  for Rs 96.7 crore in January 2018. 

Crystal Crop had struck a few acquisitions previously as well. In 2016, it bought a fungicide brand from German chemical maker BASF. In 2012, the company acquired a pesticide brand from Mumbai-based Cheminova India. In 2011, the firm acquired Hyderabad-based companies Rohini Seeds as well as Rohini Bioseeds and Agritech.                      

Incorporated in 1994, Crystal Crop makes and sells agrochemicals, seeds and farm equipment. The company has five manufacturing units – two each in Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir, and one in Gujarat. 

Other similar acquisitions

Recently, ChrysCapital-backed Delhi-based agrochemicals company Safex Chemicals India Ltd purchased Mumbai-based Shogun Organics Ltd, marking its second acquisition so far. 

In December 2020, Anupam Rasayan India Ltd, which makes agrochemicals, polymers and other speciality chemicals, filed its draft papers for an initial public offering (IPO). 

In November, Heranba Industries, a Gujarat-based agrochemicals company that makes crop protection products, received a regulatory approval for its IPO after its earlier attempt to go public in 2018-19 failed to materialise. 

In September, two Tokyo-based companies jointly picked up a majority stake in agrochemical company Bharat Insecticides Ltd.  

In June 2020, Goa-based Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd, which is part of the Saroj Poddar-led Adventz Group, announced the sale of its fertiliser plant to Paradeep Phosphates Ltd. 

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