The deal – which will create a joint venture called Innovative Seed Solutions – is designed to drive investment in sorghum and boost industry access to the crop.
Widely used for animal feed and biofuels, interest in sorghum as a food ingredient has been boosted in recent years by the ‘ancient grain’ trend that has also brought renewed interest in ingredients such as chia and quinoa.
Recent product launches using sorghum have included Clusters Vanilla Pepita Cereal under the Kellogg-owned Kashi brand in the US.
Sorghum germplasm pool
In the joint venture, Monsanto will contribute its global sorghum breeding business – including its sorghum germplasm pool (the basic genetic material for a plant, which is used to develop new seed varieties) and related intellectual property. Remington will be contributing cash and, in a related transaction, a subsidiary of Remington will purchase Monsanto’s US sorghum production assets.
Remington will have a 60% stake in the joint venture and Monsanto 40%.
The new business will be led by chief executive officer Dan Zinck, who will work with an international team to lead research and commercial aspects of the business.
'Great potential to expand'
Monsanto said the joint venture will help expand the commercial and technology reach of the germplasm. The company added it will source sorghum products developed through the joint venture and distribute these to growers through its Asgrow, Dekalb, Channel and regional seed brand dealer networks globally.
“Our sorghum business has great potential to expand and grow both domestically and internationally,” said Monsanto vice president and chief commercial officer Mike Frank.
“We believe by partnering with Remington in the joint venture, we can bring an increased level of focus, investment and resources into this crop space, driving greater stability and value from this business.”
Remington said the deal strengthened its position as a multi-national service provider to the retail seed industry.