SEED BREEDER Advanta has been sold to two buyers, rival Syngenta and US-based buyout firm Fox Paine.

Syngenta has acquired the whole business for a reported €400m (£272m), but will retain only the North American corn, soya bean and wheat-breeding parts for €239m (£162.5m).

It will sell the rest on to Fox Paine for €161m (£109.5m). Fox Paine owns the world‘s largest fruit and vegetable breeding business, Seminis.

For UK farmers, it will be business as usual, said a spokesman for Advanta Seeds UK, the wholly owned subsidiary of Dutch parent Advanta BV.

Advanta has had the for-sale boards up for two years. The spokesman said staff were relieved that a company new to mainstream arable and forage crops had bought the firm.

Being purchased by a rival would have triggered major reorganisation  and job losses, he added.