Biobest Group has completed the acquisition of Biotrop Participações s.a.
As agreed in the contract signed in early September and in full accordance with the timeline envisaged for closing, Biobest has acquired approximately 85% of the shares based on an enterprise value of BRL 2.8bn (EUR 532m) on a fully diluted basis. The remaining 15% will be acquired by Biobest after a transition period of three years.
Between signing and closing, Biobest successfully completed a EUR 365 Mio capital increase to finance the transaction with the participation of its existing shareholders (Sofina, some Belgian families, and management) and new shareholders (Tikehau Capital, M&G Investments, Unigrains, Sofiprotéol and several families close to its majority shareholder, Floridienne).
Biobest, once again, raises the stakes in its successful and ambitious M&A strategy aimed at promoting biological integrated pest control. With this transaction, Biobest takes a major position in South America and is fully equipped to start its transformation journey from a horticulture biocontrol and pollination specialist to a major biologicals player in agriculture, covering beneficials, biopesticides, -stimulants and -inoculants, and pollination in covered and in open-field crops.
The Brazilian market for biocontrol and other biologicals is currently estimated at more than USD 1bn. With an annual growth rate of 43%, powered by a supportive regulatory environment tailored to the needs of biological products – Brazil outpaces growth in any other major market. Biotrop was able to roll-out a winning strategy and quickly became leading player in this dynamic market thanks to its outstanding management team which will continue to drive the company’s growth and becomes part of Biobest Group’s global leadership.
“I am pleased that Antonio Zem will continue to lead the Biotrop organization as CEO, supported by the same dedicated senior management team. As our track record shows, we value continuity in our M&A strategy,” says Biobest CEO Jean-Marc Vandoorne.
”With this landmark transaction following several other key acquisitions, Biobest now faces a wealth of opportunities to create synergies between its businesses while putting its customers first. We are determined to continue our growth and become a leading global player in crop protection and crop nutrition focused on biologicals. In a world that urgently needs to shift to more sustainable farming and to reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides, we are confident that we can reach a position in the global top 10 by 2034. An enviable position in which existing and new Biobest shareholders were eager to invest.”
“As a member of Biobest, we will be able to globally leverage our ambitious growth agenda by providing sound biological crop protection alternatives to chemical pesticides, contributing directly to mitigating climate change by reducing CO2 emissions and restoring healthy soils,” says Antonio Zem, CEO of Biotrop. “Providing farmers with effective biological products and expert advice will create a cycle of trust, benefiting our mutual businesses, enabling enhanced food security, and a more resilient and sustainable agriculture.”
Sebastian Popik, Managing Partner of Aqua Capital, remarks, "Biotrop stands out as a market leader in biological agriculture, achieving high margins. During our six-year journey, it has established itself as a top player in this rapidly evolving field, balancing sustainability and profitability. Led by CEO Antonio Zem, we've partnered with exceptional people and institutions like GIC. I am convinced that joining Biobest, known for its dedication to biologicals and global presence, is the ideal move for Biotrop's continued growth."
Jean-Marc Vandoorne concludes: "Building on the foundation and global recognition of the Biobest brand as a leader in biocontrol solutions for horticulture, our company is considerably extending its portfolio with the strengths and brands of Biotrop, Bioworks, and Plant Products. These additions, achieved through strategic acquisitions in 2023 and 2022, are pivotal in our growth strategy. As a result, we are crafting a new, more efficient, and effective divisional structure that builds upon these four powerful brands. This evolution will include adopting a new group name, BioFirst Group, in the future. Our aim is to harness the unique capabilities of each brand, enabling us to develop tailored strategies for diverse markets. This synergetic approach underpins our ambition to be among the top 10 players in the overall agricultural industry."