26 May 1998
Monsanto tipped to buy PBI
UNILEVERS Plant Breeding International (PBI) could be sold to Monsanto for hundred of millions of pounds, reports The Guardian.
PBI is described as a world centre of excellence in the field of developing and marketing varieties of wheat, oats, barley, potatoes and other seeds.
Formerly a Government-owned enterprise PBI, as it is now known, was sold to Unilever in 1987 for £66 million. The reason why the business can now fetch such a high price, despite the fact that its annual turnover is just £16m, is that companies involved in genetic modification want to base their work on the best available crops and are therefore prepared to pay top dollar.
Zeneca, Dupont and Novartis are also thought to be likely bidders but Monsanto has outbid rivals for other seed companies in recent months.
- The Financial Times 25/05/98 page 20
- The Guardian 26/05/98 page 19