Dutch Seed-Enhancer Acquired for €155M by UK Chemical Giant

Croda Incotec

Croda International is reinforcing its agri-business department with the €155M-acquisition of Incotec. The chemical producer expanded this way its biological portfolio making a move into the market for additives to improve the performance of crop seeds.

croda_incotecThis British chemical manufacturer is the world’s second-largest maker of cosmetic ingredients, although its business is not restricted to that area. Croda was already competing with the giants Monsanto and Bayer CropScience with its Crop care department, integrated in the company’s Life Science division, which made €283.6M last year.

Good figures, yet relatively small in comparison with the €1.46Bn total revenue that Croda made in 2014.

The move might have been driven by German BASF SE’ similar acquisition of Becker Underwood in 2012… In a billion-euro deal, Croda’s competitor added biological sprays and seed coating technologies from the Becker Underwood bench to its portfolio.

Left: Seed Art (Source: Incotec), Right: Crop Seed Polymers technology Comparison. Croda’s film with all solids surrounded by the polymer and another film where the polymer particles only partly coalesced and the solids are not completely covered. (Source: Croda)

Croda couldn’t stay lagging behind in the race, and Incotec seems to be the right move to play, as this Dutch biotech has developed a wide range of technologies for both vegetable seeds and field crops since 1968. Specifically, Incotec markets seven main technology groups to maximize seed performance: upgrading, priming, disinfection, film coating, encrusting & pelleting, application of additives and quality testing.

Incotec will maintain a relative state of independence, keeping its brand while receiving additional funding from its new partner. In exchange, Croda expects Incotec’s research abilities to provide new technologies to add to its existent arsenal of seed coating polymers.

This way, Croda expects to increase farming yields to feed the world’s growing population… And get some benefits along the way.


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