26 January 1996

Continentals buy breeder

PLANT breeding company, CPB Twyfords is being sold, subject to contract, to a consortium of French and German interests.

The disposal comes less than a year after parent company, the Agricultural Genetics Company (AGC) bought Twyfords from J Bibby and Sons to combine with its Cambridge Plant Breeders.

New owners will be Lochow-Petkus, a subsidiary of Germanys largest seed breeding organisation, KWS, and Sigma, the head company of the French cereal co-operatives organisation.

The consortium will be acquiring a comprehensive list of varieties including barleys Intro and Prisma, wheats Cadenza, Genesis, Chianti, Shiraz and Chablis and oilseed rapes Spock, Star, Inca, Synergy and Comanche. Annual turnover for CPB Twyford is put at about £6m.

Managing director, Ray Spreadbury said it had always been AGCs intention to sell its plant breeding division, to return cash to its original investors.