MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Cargill and Monsanto (NYSE: MTC) announced today that they have reached an agreement that resolves problems related to Monsanto's purchase of Cargill's international seed business last year. Under the agreement, Cargill compensated Monsanto for lost germplasm (the reproductive tissue of seeds) and other expenses associated with the problems that were uncovered in Cargill's international seed business. The settlement was included in a reserve taken in the fourth quarter of Cargill's 1998-99 fiscal year. Monsanto acquired Cargill's international seed business in October 1998 for $1.4 billion. The sale involved temperate and tropical corn and other crops, but did not include Cargill's North American seed business. Cargill discovered the problems during an investigation into allegations by Pioneer Hi-Bred International that Cargill had wrongly obtained some Pioneer genetic material. Pioneer filed suit against Cargill in October 1998, after Monsanto's acquisition of Cargill's international seed business. Pioneer later filed suit against Monsanto, claiming that some of Pioneer's genetic material was included in Cargill's international seed business. "We have been very open and forthright with Pioneer and Monsanto from the moment we discovered the problem and have worked with both companies to remedy the situation," said Fritz Corrigan, president of Cargill's Agriculture and Biosciences Group. "Both Cargill and Monsanto have thoroughly investigated the problem to ensure that any material that should not be for sale has been removed from our research program and the market. We deeply regret the situation and are pleased that we have reached this agreement." "It's unfortunate that some problem areas have been identified in the Cargill assets we acquired," said Monsanto President Hendrik Verfaillie. "However, we're pleased that a suitable arrangement has been agreed upon by both companies, and we look forward to furthering our strong business relationship with Cargill." Cargill is an international marketer, processor and distributor of agricultural, food, financial and industrial products with 82,000 employees in 59 countries. Monsanto is a life sciences company, committed to finding solutions to the growing global needs for food and health by sharing common forms of science and technology among agriculture, nutrition and health. The company's 31,800 employees worldwide make and market high-value agricultural products, pharmaceuticals and food ingredients.
SOURCE Monsanto Company