Date: November 2007


Vilmorin looking for acquisitions in India and Japan


Vilmorin Clause, the listed French vegetable and flower seed producer, is eyeing India and Japan for international expansion, Daniel Jacquemond, the company's CFO said.

Speaking to this news service, Jacquemond indicated in India, Vilmorin is looking for small targets among the myriad companies that produce rice, cotton and vegetable seeds.

On the research side, the company is expecting much from its 2006 partnership with Avesthagen, the biotech company, to develop a GMO (genetically modified organism) program for the Indian market.

In Japan, Vilmorin is also looking for small family-owned targets of EUR 20m to EUR 30m that specialize in vegetable seeds. The group has been present in that country for 10 years and already ranks third after Takii et Sakata, the two market leaders.

Acquisitions in China are rapidly bearing fruit in terms of presence. Last July, Vilmorin signed a partnership with Hunan Xindaxin, the main shareholder of LPHT a major producer of hybrid rice seeds. The agreement will result in a joint venture in which Vilmorin Hong Kong will have 46.5% of the capital.

Since then, LPHT is itself finalizing the acquisition of another seeds company with EUR 20m in sales, which will result in an increase in Vilmorin's presence, Jacquemond indicated.

Finally, and as a result of restrictions for GMO programs in France, Vilmorin is interested in taking a minority stake in a company in Australia that specializes in technological research to develop GMO seeds.