Monsanto in $1 Billion Acquisition

The company is buying fruit-and-vegetable seed leader Seminis.
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Monsanto Company

(MON)

Monday said it will acquire seed company Seminis for more than $1 billion in cash.

Under terms of the transaction, Monsanto will pay $1 billion in cash, assume about $400 million in debt and also make a performance-based payment of up to $125 million payable by the end of fiscal year 2007.

"The addition of Seminis will be an excellent fit for our company as the global production of vegetables and fruits, and the trend toward healthier diets, has been growing steadily over the past several years," Monsanto said in a statement.

Seminis is the global leader in the vegetable-and-fruit seed industry, with annual sales of $526 million.

St. Louis-based Monsanto said the acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings and was revising full-year guidance as a result. The company reaffirmed operating earnings of $1.85 to $2.00 a share but adjusted net earnings to 86 cents to $1.06 a share, from a previous $1.56 to $1.71 a share.

The transaction is expected to close in Monsanto's third-quarter 2005 fiscal year, pending regulatory approvals.

Shares fell 30 cents, or 0.5%, to $57.42.