Syngenta acquires 2 seed companies in California

AP News
Posted: Nov 12, 2009 6:41 AM

Swiss agrochemicals company Syngenta AG said Thursday it has acquired two lettuce seed companies based in California.

Syngenta declined to give financial details of the simultaneous acquisition of privately-held Synergene Seed & Technology Inc. and Pybas Vegetable Seed Co.

Synergene Seed & Technology is based in Salinas, California. Pybas Vegetable Seed Co. is based in Santa Maria, California.

The companies have a total of between 20 and 25 employees, said Syngenta spokesman Medard Schoenmaeckers.

"These are small U.S. family-owned companies, but for us they are very important because they have excellent germplasm, which is the basis for new varieties and production technology. So they really add to our technology," he told The Associated Press.

The move will put the Swiss company in a "significant position" in the North American lettuce market, Syngenta said in a statement.

Shares in Syngenta were down 0.4 percent at 257.60 Swiss francs ($255.9) on the Zurich exchange.