Lantmännen, Svalöf Weibull and BASF agree on share exchange


WEBWIRE – Friday, October 24, 2008

* Lantmännen gains full ownership of Svalöf Weibull; BASF gains full ownership of BASF Plant Science

* New ownership structures enable companies to focus on their individual strategies

* Partners committed to further close cooperation

Stockholm and Svalöv, Sweden and Limburgerhof, Germany – Lantmännen, owned by Swedish farmers, has become the sole owner of Svalöf Weibull after acquiring the 40 percent share in Svalöf Weibull previously held by BASF Plant Science. At the same time, BASF has gained full ownership of BASF Plant Science by acquiring the 15 percent share in BASF Plant Science previously held by Svalöf Weibull. The respective agreements were signed on October 22, 2008. Financial details were not disclosed. The resulting simplification will give the companies greater flexibility in responding to their respective strategic demands.

“Plant breeding is one of Lantmännen’s core operations. We want to focus fully on Svalöf Weibull – better known to our customers as SW Seed. With BASF Plant Science as our partner we have restructured SW Seed’s operations in the past years and have made the company even stronger in both the Nordic and the growing Central European markets,” commented Lantmännen’s President and CEO Per Strömberg.

“In future, both companies will concentrate on their core competences. For BASF Plant Science this means the development of plant biotech products for the global market,” said Hans Kast, President and CEO of BASF Plant Science. “Full ownership has advantages and can speed up decision making. On the other hand, our extensive experience shows that joint ownership is not a prerequisite for working together successfully.”

“Markets and strategic focus have changed since BASF and Svalöf Weibull started their cooperation 10 years ago,” explained Monika Lekander, CEO of Svalöf Weibull. “It is therefore logical for the partners to now end their joint ventures. An independent Svalöf Weibull can look for new development opportunities and cooperation partners, whilst we can count on the continuation of our excellent cooperation with BASF Plant Science for certain projects.” Svalöf Weibull will continue to provide field trial services for BASF Plant Science in Sweden and will allow BASF to access selected commercial seed varieties for research and commercialization purposes.

About Lantmännen
Lantmännen is one of the largest Groups in the food, energy and agriculture industries in the Nordic region. Lantmännen’s brands include Axa, Kungsörnen, Start, Bageri Skogaholm, Hattings, Schulstad and Kronfågel. Lantmännen is owned by 42,000 Swedish farmers. It has 13,000 employees, operates in 19 countries and has a turnover of SEK 36 billion. For more information, please visit www.lantmannen

About Svalöf Weibull
Svalöf Weibull is an international plant breeding and seed company. The core business is development and marketing of new plant varieties and the production of seed. Cereals, oil seeds and forage grasses & legumes are the main crops. Svalöf Weibull, better known as SW Seed in the international market, is located in Svalöv, Sweden and has 220 employees in Sweden, Germany, Holland, Poland and Latvia. To find out more about Svalöf Weibull, please visit: www.swseed.com

About BASF Plant Science
BASF – the Chemical Company – consolidated its plant biotechnology activities in BASF Plant Science in 1998. Today, about 700 employees are working to optimize crops for more efficient agriculture, renewable raw materials and healthier nutrition. Projects include yield increase in staple crops, higher content of Omega-3s in oil crops for preventing cardiovascular diseases, and potatoes with optimized starch composition for industrial use.
To find out more about BASF Plant Science, please visit www.basf.com/plantscience

About BASF
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. BASF has more than 95,000 employees and posted sales of almost €58 billion in 2007.
To find out more about BASF, please visit www.basf.com



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