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BASF to strengthen global crop protection business with acquisition of Becker Underwood

September 20, 2012
        --  BASF to become a global leader in biological seed treatments
        --  Strategic growth field Functional Crop Care strengthened
        --  Broader portfolio of integrated, sustainable solutions for
            agriculture

LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany, Sept. 20, 2012 /CNW/ – BASF plans to acquire
Becker Underwood for a price of $1.02 billion (EUR785 million). The
company, headquartered in Ames, Iowa, is one of the leading global
providers of technologies for biological seed treatment, seed treatment
colors and polymers, as well as products in the areas of biological
crop protection, turf and horticulture, animal nutrition and landscape
colorants and coatings. Becker Underwood has 10 production sites
worldwide and 479 employees. BASF came to an agreement with Norwest
Equity Partners (NEP) to acquire Becker Underwood which has been a
portfolio company of NEP since 2004. The purchase is subject to
approval by the responsible authorities and legal closing of the
transaction is expected by the end of 2012.

“We are impressed with Becker Underwood’s ability to translate growers’
needs into innovative, tailor-made solutions that can promote higher
yields while conserving resources. Becker Underwood is to become part
of BASF and we are excited that together with our new colleagues we can
continue expanding our competencies. Particularly in the
rapidly-growing seed treatment market, we will be able to develop
innovative solutions for agriculture,” said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer,
Research Executive Director and Member of BASF’s Board of Executive
Directors responsible for the Agricultural Solutions segment.

Becker Underwood is expected to achieve sales of $240 million
(EUR185 million) for fiscal year 2012, ending on September 30. As part of
the acquisition, BASF’s Crop Protection division will create a
strategic global business unit called Functional Crop Care. The unit
will merge BASF’s existing research, development and marketing
activities in the areas of seed treatment, biological crop protection,
plant health, as well as water and resource management with those of
Becker Underwood. Becker Underwood’s animal nutrition business will be
integrated into BASF’s Nutrition & Health division.

“Becker Underwood has a strong position in North America. We will
continue to expand this core business as we expand globally. Together
we can sustainably create value for our customers,” said Markus Heldt,
President of BASF’s Crop Protection division. “We are thrilled at the
prospect of working with the highly-qualified employees at Becker
Underwood as we continue to develop our combined businesses.”

“Over the past years, Becker Underwood has established itself as an
innovative provider of solutions for agriculture,” emphasized
Dr. Peter Innes, Chief Executive Officer of Becker Underwood.
“Strengthened by the power of BASF’s research capabilities as well as
its existing portfolio of solutions, we will be able to develop and
globally market new types of solutions for growers.”

Upon receiving the necessary legal approvals, the majority of Becker
Underwood’s business will be integrated into BASF’s Crop Protection
division. In 2011, the division recorded sales of around EUR4.2 billion
and is expecting another top year in 2012 as well. With its products
and services, BASF helps growers to improve their yields and the
quality of their products.

Note to editors:

Further information on BASF is available on the internet at www.basf.com.

Further information on Becker Underwood is available on the internet at www.beckerunderwood.com

Further information on Norwest Equity Partners is available on the
internet at www.nep.com

SOURCE BASF Canada Inc.


Source: PR Newswire