Agrinos AS and EuroChem Group AG Announce Intention to Enter Into Distribution & Sales, Research & Development, and Equity Investment Agreements

Dec 16, 2015, 11:58 ET from Agrinos AS

OSLO, Norway and ZUG, Switzerland, Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- EuroChem Group AG (EuroChem), a leading global agrochemical company and one of the world's leading mineral fertilizer producers, and Agrinos AS (Agrinos), a global leader in biological crop nutrition products, today jointly announce their intention to enter into multi-year marketing, distribution & sales, research & development and equity investment agreements.

The marketing, distribution and sales agreement is to market, distribute and sell Agrinos High Yield Technology (HYT®) products within specific international territories and complements the respective commercial strengths of both Agrinos and EuroChem. By combining EuroChem's expertise and pipeline of high value-added products and Agrinos' world-class biological R&D capabilities, the research and development agreement will enable the companies to not only grow commercial opportunities for their current product offering, but also develop next-generation fertilizer products through the integration of biological and chemical crop nutrition technologies. Further details, including financial considerations, related to the marketing, distribution and sales agreement, and to the research and development agreement, were not disclosed.

In addition, the companies intend to enter into an investment agreement for EuroChem to purchase 21,500,000 new ordinary shares of Agrinos with an option to purchase up to 31,533,333 of additional Agrinos shares over the next 24 months. EuroChem's investment in Agrinos will occur as part of a private placement led by a long-term strategic investor and Agrinos shareholder, Manor Investment SA. The proceeds from the investment will be used to support Agrinos' business plan execution, which includes focused growth in core geographies and research and development efforts in the second generation of innovative biological crop input products. The investment agreement is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Rudolf von Plettenberg, Head of Premium Products & Development at EuroChem, commented: "The partnership with Agrinos, producer of High Yield Technology products, will help EuroChem to further enhance its product portfolio and leadership in the global market of mineral and biological fertilizers. We aspire to drive innovation in the fertilizer industry, combining our traditional strengths in mineral fertilizer products with ground-breaking microbial and crop nutrient technologies, to be able to offer our customers the most effective and environmentally friendly crop enhancing solutions. This investment indicates our confidence that Agrinos' expertise and product pipeline represents a perfect fit for EuroChem's strategic development, and we look forward to our future cooperation."

D. Ry Wagner, CEO of Agrinos, added: "Agrinos is very pleased to be working with an industry leader such as EuroChem and its team of highly dedicated professionals. This partnership reflects the growing interest in the synergies between our microbial and crop nutrient products and EuroChem's diverse portfolio of specialty products, which have the potential to dramatically increase crop health, quality, and yield. The EuroChem and Agrinos teams have worked seamlessly to evaluate and determine an exciting path forward for the commercialization of Agrinos products by EuroChem, and for the development of new products using the state-of-art technologies and know-how both companies bring to the research and development collaboration."

The completion of the transaction remains subject to the conclusion of certain agreements and customary closing conditions, including obtaining antitrust and other regulatory approvals in certain jurisdictions and other closing conditions.

This announcement contains forward looking statements concerning future events, these statements are based on current EuroChem and Agrinos information and assumptions.

About EuroChem Group AG
EuroChem is a leading global agrochemical company, producing primarily nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers, as well as certain organic synthesis products and iron ore. The Group is vertically integrated with activities spanning from mining and hydrocarbons extraction to fertilizer production, logistics, and distribution. EuroChem is currently developing two sizeable potash deposits in Russia with its VolgaKaliy and Usolskiy Potash projects. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, the Group operates production facilities in Belgium, Lithuania, China, Kazakhstan and Russia and employs more than 23,000 people globally.

About Agrinos AS
Agrinos is a global leader in biological crop nutrition products committed to improving the productivity and sustainability of modern agriculture. Agrinos' range of High Yield Technology (HYT®) products helps farmers to practice profitable agriculture by providing increased crop productivity, improved efficiency of conventional fertilizer and a reduced environmental footprint. Certified as organic and based on Agrinos' proprietary technology, the HYT products provide benefits by strengthening the soil-based microbial ecosystem, stimulating crop development at key points in the growth cycle and boosting natural plant resistance to pathogens and threats. With solutions for a variety of crop categories, the technology comprising the HYT products has demonstrated its value in third-party trials in key agricultural regions worldwide.

About Manor Investment SA
Manor is a long term investor in the field of natural resource efficiency.  As an independent private industrial company, Manor provides long-term development capital to entrepreneurs and industrial projects. Manor's objective is to operate from a select number of platform companies all geared towards a better and more efficient use of energy and natural resources. Apart from its involvement in Agrinos, Manor is already active in clean energy in France, Sweden and Austria.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150715/237074LOGO

 

SOURCE Agrinos AS