India's largest manufacturer of crop protection products United Phosphorus Ltd (UPL) has agreed to acquire European crop protection chemicals manufacturer Cerexagri for €111 million. The price of the acquisition is subject to closing adjustments.
Cerexagri, which has revenues of around €200 million, is the crop science unit of the €5.2-billion European diversified chemicals manufacturer Arkema, the company created in 2004 from the reorganisation of the chemicals business of Total Petrochemicals.
UPL will buy Arkema's shareholding in the Cerexagri Group of companies subject to anti-trust approvals.
Cerexagri, which has over 70 years of experience in the global market, specialises in plant protection products, mainly fungicides (which account for about 75 per cent of the sales) and post-harvest treatment products for fruits and vegetables where it is market leader.
UPL ranks fourth amongst the generic agrochemical companies in the world and its insecticides, herbicides and furnigants fits well with the complementary range in fungicides of Cerexagri. Moreover, Cerexagri's strong distribution presence in Europe and the US would create a truly global and competitive combined entity.
For UPL, Cerexagri would be its fifth acquisition in this calendar year following the acquisitions of Advanta BV, Crop Serve, products from Bayer Cropscience and Bensulfuron from Dupont. This acquisition, when completed, would make UPL the third largest generic agrochemical company in the world.
Through acquisitions, strategic alliances and subsidiaries, UPL has built a network across the globe -- in Europe, America, Asia Pacific, CIS, Africa and Australia with fully owned subsidiaries in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Cuba, Denmark, Honduras, HongKong, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, USA, UK, Zambia, Zimbabwe and representative offices in Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
UPL group sales revenues for the year ended March 31, 2006 were Rs1,861 crore ($410 million).