PBICis up for bidders

1 May 1998

PBICis up for bidders

ONE of the UKs best-known plant breeders, Plant Breeding International Cambridge, is to be sold by parent company Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch group.

PBIC is perhaps best known for its winter wheat breeding programme. Varieties include Riband, Rialto and Hereward. It also has several well known varieties of barley, pulses and potatoes.

The company, a conventional breeder, is expected to attract keen bidding from major plant science companies, since it will offer them a fast route into wheat, seen as a lucrative biotech target.

Just 11 years ago, Unilever paid the government £66m for the business, which had a turnover of £16m last year. It is likely to be worth several times that.

The plant breeder has welcomed the sale, part of Unilevers drive to concentrate on its core consumer businesses.

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