FRENCH AGRICULTURAL chemical manufacturer De Sangosse has acquired adjuvant maker Loveland Industries Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

The Cambs-based firm has been working with De Sangosse on a €5.3m joint venture for the past nine years.

But though talks have been ongoing for months, it only tied the knot with the French agrochemical giant on Friday (Jan 28).

The takeover allies the British company, a market leader in adjuvants with a turnover of £3.9m in 2003/04, with a much larger French company, with sales of €200m.

Managing director David Cameron said that the move made sense, because previous owner ConAgra UK had been exiting the agrochemical sector for some time.

“We were looking to get a foothold in France, and the company there has been self-running for many years,” he said.

“But the tie-up with De Sangosse will give us the continuity to develop our markets in eastern Europe.”

Loveland is hoping to get the green light to launch in at least two more eastern European countries this year, taking advantage of the enlarged EU.

To date, the firm has done around half of its business in the UK and half in the EU.