Business & Real Estate

Davis pesticide company Marrone Bio to buy Finnish agriculture firm in $31.8 million deal

Watch drone flyover of sunflower fields in Yolo County

A drone flies over a sunflower field in Yolo County near Davis on July 24, 2018. The county is one of California's top sunflower producers.
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A drone flies over a sunflower field in Yolo County near Davis on July 24, 2018. The county is one of California's top sunflower producers.

Davis-based pesticide and soil treatment company Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. is purchasing a Finnish agriculture technology company in a deal worth $31.8 million amid rising revenues.

In a news release, Marrone Bio said it was buying Pro Farm, which specializes in technology meant to promote crop growth, for a value of $31.8 million, including $6.2 million in cash and $12.7 million in stocks.

“This acquisition is an example of the kind of transformative investments that we seek to grow Marrone Bio from a product, crop and geographic perspective, and to do so in a way that can immediately accelerate our revenue growth and margin expansion,” Marrone Bio board chairman Bob Woods said in a prepared statement. “We believe acquisitions like Pro Farm will allow us to cost-effectively expand our global scale, and significantly escalate our growth trajectory.”

Acquiring Pro Farm will add nutrient and biostimulant seed-and-leaf treatment technology to Marrone Bio’s portfolio, which the company hopes will gradually increase its net incomes, according to the release.

The sale is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, following an optimistic financial report from Marrone Bio.

The Davis company recently released a quarterly report that showed its revenues from 2019’s second quarter reached $7 million, a 22 percent increase from last year’s figures.

In the first half of 2019, Marrone Bio’s revenues were $15.7 million, up 56 percent from the first half of 2018, according to the report.

“Today’s announcement is a critical step in our strategic objective to build a platform company that leverages our scientific, manufacturing and commercial expertise through new agricultural solutions,” Marrone Bio CEO Pam Marrone said in a prepared statement. “We believe we have the technology, talent and financial support to achieve our goal of creating a biological ag inputs company of major scope and scale.”

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Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.
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