Biobest Group N.V. (“Biobest”), in collaboration with Aqua Capital, GIC, and the management of Biotrop, has successfully concluded the acquisition of Biotrop Participações S.A. (“Biotrop”), a prominent player in Brazil’s rapidly growing market for biologicals. This strategic move positions Biotrop as an integral part of Biobest Group, aligning with the overarching goal of entering the top 10 global agrotech companies by 2034.
The acquisition, in accordance with the contract signed in early September, saw Biobest acquire approximately 85% of Biotrop’s shares, amounting to an enterprise value of BRL 2.8 billion (EUR 532 million) on a fully diluted basis. The remaining 15% stake is slated for acquisition by Biobest after a transition period of three years.
In the interim between the signing and closing phases, Biobest successfully executed a EUR 365 million capital increase to fund the transaction. Existing shareholders, including Sofina, Belgian families, and management, actively participated, alongside new stakeholders such as Tikehau Capital, M&G Investments, Unigrains, Sofiprotéol, and families associated with its majority shareholder, Floridienne.
This acquisition marks a significant stride in Biobest’s mergers and acquisitions strategy, emphasizing the promotion of biological integrated pest control. Biobest now holds a substantial position in South America, positioning itself for a transformation from a specialized horticulture biocontrol and pollination entity to a key player in agriculture, encompassing beneficials, biopesticides, bio-stimulants, bio-inoculants, and pollination in covered and open-field crops.
With a current estimated value exceeding USD 1 billion and a remarkable annual growth rate of 43%, the Brazilian market for biocontrol and biologicals outpaces other major markets. Biotrop’s rapid rise in this dynamic market is attributed to its exceptional management team, which will continue to spearhead growth under the umbrella of Biobest Group’s global leadership.
Biobest CEO Jean-Marc Vandoorne expresses satisfaction in retaining Antonio Zem as CEO of Biotrop, highlighting the company’s commitment to continuity in its M&A strategy. The acquisition opens up opportunities for synergies between Biobest’s businesses, with a focus on customer-centric approaches.
As part of the Biobest family, Biotrop aims to contribute to sustainable farming by providing biological crop protection alternatives, reducing CO2 emissions, and fostering healthy soils. Antonio Zem emphasizes the potential for a cycle of trust between farmers and the company, promoting enhanced food security and a more resilient and sustainable agriculture.
Sebastian Popik, Managing Partner of Aqua Capital, praises Biotrop’s leadership in biological agriculture, anticipating continued growth under Biobest’s global presence. The move is seen as a strategic fit, aligning Biotrop’s sustainability and profitability objectives with Biobest’s dedication to biologicals.
In conclusion, Jean-Marc Vandoorne outlines Biobest’s broader vision by incorporating the strengths and brands of Biotrop, Bioworks, and Plant Products into its portfolio. The strategic acquisitions in 2023 and 2022 pave the way for a new divisional structure under the name BioFirst Group. The aim is to leverage the unique capabilities of each brand, crafting tailored strategies for diverse markets and solidifying the ambition to be among the top 10 players in the overall agricultural industry.
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