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Monsanto To Buy Cargill Seed Biz

June 29, 1998

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Cargill Inc. will sell its international seed operations in Central and Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa to Monsanto Co. for $1.4 billion.

The sale, which was announced Monday, includes seed research, production and testing facilities in 24 countries and sales and distribution operations in 51 countries. It does not include Cargill’s U.S. and Canadian seed operations or Cargill Agricultural Merchants in the United Kingdom.

``We think this basically strengthens the relationship between the two companies,″ said Lori Johnson, a spokeswoman for Cargill, a private company based in Minneapolis with nearly 79,000 employees around the world.

Cargill’s international seed operations businesses, with about 2,200 employees, develop and market corn, sunflower and rapeseed seeds and market soybean, alfalfa, sorghum, wheat and hybrid rice seed.

The Cargill businesses will give Monsanto quicker access to global markets, enabling the company to provide more farmers around the world with seeds for the crop varieties they want to grow, said Monsanto President Hendrik Verfaillie.

``The biotechnology revolution is rapidly changing the international seed industry, and Monsanto has been a key player in this arena,″ said Ernest Micek, Cargill chairman and chief executive.

Cargill’s non-seed businesses that supply fertilizers, chemicals and seeds to farmers will continue to sell Cargill seeds that will be owned and produced by Monsanto, Johnson said.

The sale of the international seed businesses comes six weeks after the two companies announced plans to join forces in a venture to create new products for the grain processing and animal feed markets.

That joint venture focuses on applying biotechnology to improve feed products for animals such as pigs, cattle, poultry and fish that are raised for human consumption.

The sale of the seed operation further strengthens the link between the Cargill and Monsanto, Johnson said.

The St. Louis-based Monsanto has 22,000 employees worldwide making and marketing agricultural products, pharmaceuticals and food ingredients.

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