15 July 1998
Monsanto to buy PBI Cambridge

by FWi staff

BIOTECHNOLOGY giant Monsanto is to buy plant breeder PBI Cambridge from Unilever for £320 million.

Monsanto officials hope the deal will give both companies the opportunity to develop conventional and genetically-modified varieties of wheat for the European market.

“Our goal is to supply farmers with an even wider range of improved plant varieties,” said Hugh Grant, co-president of Monsantos agricultural sector.

David Taylor, operations director of PBI Cambridge, said his company would have found difficulty investing in new plant varieties had a company such as Monsanto not come to the rescue.

“We are not in the big league of spenders for plant breeding technology,” Mr Taylor said. “We needed a partner who was spending serious money.”

PBI Cambridge has said there will be no job losses among its 280 employees. Monsantos share of the global seeds business is now creeping upwards to 10%.