The purchase by UPL Limited (UPL) of Arysta LifeScience, the maker of such products like Batalium herbicide in wheat, has been finalized. The completion of the $4.2 billion transaction signed in July 2018 strengthens UPL’s position as a global leader in agricultural solutions, say UPL officials.
UPL is now one of the top five agricultural solutions companies worldwide, according to company officials. It will have revenues of $5 billion annually. Company officials say UPL will now offer an integrated portfolio of both patented and postpatent agricultural products for various row crops and speciality crops, including crop protection products, biological products, and seed treatments.
UPL has also launched an initiative called OpenAg. Company officials say the goal is to create value along a wider food production network.
“Through our purpose of OpenAg, we aim to transform agriculture by creating an open agriculture network that feeds sustainable growth for all,” said Jai Shroff, Global CEO, in a company news release. “UPL will offer broader choices, greater value, and increased sustainability to secure the world’s food supply.
The open ag strategy enables UPL to branch out from crop protection products and work with food processors, says Vicente Gongora, UPL region head for North America. The firm currently has a project with farmers growing products like potatoes for Pepsico that reduces water consumption, he says.
“Farmers need technologies that help them to be more resilient and that enhance performance in light of the climate change and the sophisticated food systems,” said Shroff in a UPL news release. “We believe that UPL can offer a portfolio of technologies in the field from crop protection to innovative hybrid platforms. Our combined biosolutions pipeline signals the dawn of a new era in sustainable agriculture as a part of integrated pest and nutrition management programs.”
The new firm is planning to bring new premixes of herbicides with existing sites of action as tools farmers can use to battle herbicide-resistant weeds, adds Gongora.
The acquisition will also enable UPL to strengthen its position in the biological area, says Gongora.
“We are in a leading position in other geographies, including Latin America and Europe,” he says. “We don’t have as strong of a presence in North America yet. But we are investing in biosolutions and bioproducts, and that is one area that is growing fast, faster than crop protection products. There is 2 to 3% (annual) growth in crop protection products, but it is close to 15% a year with biosolutions (products).”
The transaction received unconditional regulatory approvals from authorities across the globe, according to a company news release. No assets were spun off from the acquisition due to its complementary nature, says Gongora.
The company has already announced global, regional, and country leadership teams for the integrated entity. Integration is running ahead of plan and the entire management team is focused on value creation and securing synergies post-closing, according to a company press release.