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Swiss-based Syngenta has agreed to acquire Florida-based biotechnology company Pasteuria Bioscience, Inc. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012.

As per the terms of the agreement, Syngenta will purchase Pasteuria Bioscience for aggregate payments of $86 million, with additional deferred payments of up to $27 million.

Since 2011, Syngenta and Pasteuria have had an exclusive global technology partnership to develop and commercialize biological products to control plant-parasitic nematodes, using the naturally occurring soil bacteria Pasteuria spp.

According to Syngenta, a revolutionary in-vitro production process will enable the development of cost-effective nematicides with a novel mode of action. The first product will be a seed treatment for soybean cyst nematode to be launched in the USA in 2014.

Nematodes are a major pest across all crops and the withdrawal of older solutions leaves growers with limited solutions. Syngenta noted that the acquisition will facilitate the introduction of key products to complement its existing chemical nematicide range and to support integrated solutions across a broad variety of crops such as soybean, corn, cereals, sugarbeet and vegetables.

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