Danish multinational plant breeder DLF Group has completed its acquisition of the Hilleshög sugar beet seed business from Syngenta. It is to integrate the operation with the Danish beet and seed company Maribo, for which DLF is the marketing agent, under the MariboHilleshög brand.

The deal was first agreed in June this year, when Syngenta said the change of ownership would “leverage the leading germplasm and growth potential of Syngenta’s sugar beet seeds worldwide”. It concluded on October 1st after regulatory clearances. Financial details have not been disclosed.

MariboHilleshög will focus on the development, production and sale of sugar beet seed to more than 30 countries.  Beet breeding activities will be centred at MariboHilleshög Research in Landskrona, Sweden, using the existing infrastructure and staff to develop seed technology and plant breeding. This site will perform development work for the North American market, with applied biotechnology work will incorporated into DLF competence centres.

The production management, marketing and sales functions will operate from the MariboHilleshög headquarters at Holeby, Denmark.

DLF gains 300 dedicated employees through the deal. Its European seed multiplication mainly takes place in France and Italy, with US seed multiplication in Oregon and further seed processing, sales and marketing based in Colorado.

“We have made significant investments to maintain and expand the production capacity for the benefit of our customers,” says DLF Group chief executive Truels Damsgaard. “With this acquisition, we are consolidating our strategic platform, where we consider sugar beet to be a fine match with our product portfolio. Our R&D platform includes a global breeding network where we combine conventional breeding and testing with state-of-the-art biotechnology tools as well as systems for screening for special features such as root development and stress tolerance.

“Sugar beet is a high-value crop with a high-technology content, which allows DLF to add competitive power to the value chain from plant breeding to production, marketing and sales. We are committed to the continuous development of new, improved sugar beet varieties to optimise the sugar production and make it more profitable.