On March 31, DuPont announced it would divest a portion of its crop protection business, including some research and development capabilities, to FMC Agricultural Solutions. (FMC). The transaction satisfies DuPont’s commitments to the European Commission in connection with its merger with Dow.
Under the terms of the agreement, FMC will acquire DuPont’s cereal broadleaf herbicides and chewing insecticides portfolios – including the active ingredients of rynaxypyr, cyazypyr and indoxacarb. In the horticultural realm, growers will know these active ingredients under the brand names of Coragen and Altacor (rynaxypyr) and Exirel and Verimark, (cyazypyr). Patents do not expire for rynaxypyr until 2022 and cyazypyr’s in 2024.
In addition, FMC will acquire the DuPont Crop Protection research and development pipeline and organization, excluding seed treatment, nematicides, and late-stage R&D programs, which DuPont will continue to develop and bring to market.
FMC Agricultural Solutions, based in Philadelphia, is poised to play a larger role in crop protection according to CropLife Magazine. In an interview published April 13, Mark Douglas, president, FMC, explained that the nine active ingredients in FMC’s current pipeline are late-stage, however the company is acquiring 15 active ingredients from DuPont – nearly all at early-stage development. Most are herbicides or fungicides. He is also excited about acquiring DuPont’s library of 1.8 million compounds.
To date, FMC has been investing under six per cent of annual revenue on R & D, but expects to increase research capacity to more than eight per cent. That would equal about $300 million annually.
This is not the only savvy acquisition that FMC has made in recent years. It bought Cheminova for $1.8 billion in 2015, providing access to key countries in Europe as well as more penetration in India, Australia and Latin America.
Ag retailers are responding positively to DuPont’s divestiture to FMC on the promise of more R & D in chemistry, as opposed to an emphasis on seed traits.
Source: DuPont March 31, 2017 news release