Mitsui Chemicals Agro (MCAG) has acquired a 10% stake in Belchim Crop Protection. Belchim, with 2016 sales of €460 million, is based in the Netherlands with its UK offices near Huntingdon.

MCAG is a joint venture subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals. While in the same broad Mitsui Group of Japanese-owned chemicals to engineering companies, it is financially separate from Mitsui & Co which already owns the majority stake in Certis – there is no common shareholding.

MCAG and Belchim have collaborated in recent years, with Belchim contributing the regulatory and marketing expertise to commercialise certain MCAG pesticide products in an increasing number of European countries. The partners say that lengthy development cycles, increased regulatory demands and costs and a background of changing agrochemical markets are all factors behind the decision to intensify and assure the long-term future of the mutually beneficial co-operation between the two companies over the development, registration, commercialisation and sale of agrochemicals.

“Belchim has the regulatory know-how and a strong market access in Europe,” notes Mitsui Chemicals Agro president Kazunori Tani. “With Belchim as a partner, we will enhance our overseas business and strengthen MCAG’s sales considerably.”

For Belchim, chief executive Dirk Putteman adds: “It is a privilege to join forces with a strong R&D partner like Mitsui Chemicals Agro, so we can amplify our existing innovative portfolio and make our company future proof. This collaboration and shareholding will reinforce the relationship with MCAG and drive further success for both companies by accelerating the development of products in the market as well as introducing new products into the market.”