Bionova Holding Restructures Its Technology Business

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from Bionova Holding Corporation

    OAKLAND, Calif., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Bionova
 Holding Corporation (Amex:   BVA) announced today a restructuring of its
 technology business in Oakland.  The two primary components of this
 restructuring involve refocusing the strawberry growing and development
 operations contained in Bionova Holding's subsidiary VPP, and a significant
 reduction in the staffing of the company.  The Company stated that these
 actions are being taken to conserve cash resources while the technology group
 continues to concentrate on the development of its trait genomics platform and
 seeks to develop new sources of funding and strategic options for its
 technology business.
     Company officials explained that refocusing the strawberry business will
 save more than $1 million in 2001, and could even generate some funds if the
 breeding assets can be sold to third party growers.  When the reduction in
 staffing is completed in June, the technology group will be reduced to
 29 employees from its current level of 72, and the annual payroll will fall by
 more than $2.5 million.  Core scientific staff will focus on the development
 of key technologies essential to Bionova Holding's proprietary position in the
 functional genomics space.  All employee-related expenditures are being
 reduced in a corresponding manner, and the Company plans to significantly
 reduce overhead and its facility expenses.  Special charges will be recorded
 in the second quarter of 2001 to write down certain assets of the strawberry
 business and for severance costs associated with the employees being
 separated.
     Beyond the short-term savings these actions will generate, the primary
 goal of this restructuring is to reduce the annual cash burn rate of the
 technology group to a level no greater than $3 million.  In conjunction with
 an estimated $1 million of corporate overhead on a per annum basis, Bionova
 Holding will be seeking to raise this level of funding for 2002 and beyond.
 To this end the Company is in the process of retaining an investment advisor
 to help it evaluate its alternatives.
     Bionova Holding also announced that Jorge Fenyvesi, President of DNA Plant
 Technology Corporation and an executive vice president of the company, will be
 leaving DNAP in early May to assume new responsibilities in affiliated
 companies of the parent group.  Dr. Peter Davis, a director of Bionova
 Holding, will be taking on the responsibility of President of DNA Plant
 Technology.  The Company also stated that Eugenio Najera had resigned his
 position as a director of Bionova Holding in March due to other commitments.
     Bionova Holding Corporation is a leading biotechnology company focused on
 genomics-based trait development for plant agriculture.  Bionova Holding's
 goal is to deliver crop protection and human nutrition traits through
 high-efficiency gene profiling, bioinformatics, and expertise in plant
 biology.  Bionova Holding and its affiliates have strategic alliances and
 licensing agreements with some of the world's leading agricultural companies,
 value-added producers and marketers, and biotechnology research groups.
 Bionova Holding Corporation is majority owned by Mexico's Savia, S.A. de C.V.
 (NYSE:   VAI), whose subsidiaries include Seminis Vegetables Seeds, Inc., the
 world's largest vegetable seed company.
     All statements in this press release other than statements of historical
 facts are "forward-looking" statements, including without limitation
 statements regarding the Company's financial position, business strategy,
 plans and objectives of management, and industry conditions.  Although the
 Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking
 statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations
 will prove to be correct.  The following factors, among others, may affect the
 Company's actual results and could cause such results to differ materially
 from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of
 the Company:  competitive factors, agribusiness risks, governmental and
 economic risks associated with foreign operations, public acceptance of
 genetically-engineered products, commercial success of new products,
 proprietary protection of and advances in technology, possible need for
 additional financing, as well as the ability of the Company to successfully
 integrate recent acquisitions and its management information systems and
 controls.  Further information on the factors that could affect the Company's
 financial results is contained in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended
 December 31, 2000 which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.
 
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SOURCE Bionova Holding Corporation
    OAKLAND, Calif., April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- Bionova
 Holding Corporation (Amex:   BVA) announced today a restructuring of its
 technology business in Oakland.  The two primary components of this
 restructuring involve refocusing the strawberry growing and development
 operations contained in Bionova Holding's subsidiary VPP, and a significant
 reduction in the staffing of the company.  The Company stated that these
 actions are being taken to conserve cash resources while the technology group
 continues to concentrate on the development of its trait genomics platform and
 seeks to develop new sources of funding and strategic options for its
 technology business.
     Company officials explained that refocusing the strawberry business will
 save more than $1 million in 2001, and could even generate some funds if the
 breeding assets can be sold to third party growers.  When the reduction in
 staffing is completed in June, the technology group will be reduced to
 29 employees from its current level of 72, and the annual payroll will fall by
 more than $2.5 million.  Core scientific staff will focus on the development
 of key technologies essential to Bionova Holding's proprietary position in the
 functional genomics space.  All employee-related expenditures are being
 reduced in a corresponding manner, and the Company plans to significantly
 reduce overhead and its facility expenses.  Special charges will be recorded
 in the second quarter of 2001 to write down certain assets of the strawberry
 business and for severance costs associated with the employees being
 separated.
     Beyond the short-term savings these actions will generate, the primary
 goal of this restructuring is to reduce the annual cash burn rate of the
 technology group to a level no greater than $3 million.  In conjunction with
 an estimated $1 million of corporate overhead on a per annum basis, Bionova
 Holding will be seeking to raise this level of funding for 2002 and beyond.
 To this end the Company is in the process of retaining an investment advisor
 to help it evaluate its alternatives.
     Bionova Holding also announced that Jorge Fenyvesi, President of DNA Plant
 Technology Corporation and an executive vice president of the company, will be
 leaving DNAP in early May to assume new responsibilities in affiliated
 companies of the parent group.  Dr. Peter Davis, a director of Bionova
 Holding, will be taking on the responsibility of President of DNA Plant
 Technology.  The Company also stated that Eugenio Najera had resigned his
 position as a director of Bionova Holding in March due to other commitments.
     Bionova Holding Corporation is a leading biotechnology company focused on
 genomics-based trait development for plant agriculture.  Bionova Holding's
 goal is to deliver crop protection and human nutrition traits through
 high-efficiency gene profiling, bioinformatics, and expertise in plant
 biology.  Bionova Holding and its affiliates have strategic alliances and
 licensing agreements with some of the world's leading agricultural companies,
 value-added producers and marketers, and biotechnology research groups.
 Bionova Holding Corporation is majority owned by Mexico's Savia, S.A. de C.V.
 (NYSE:   VAI), whose subsidiaries include Seminis Vegetables Seeds, Inc., the
 world's largest vegetable seed company.
     All statements in this press release other than statements of historical
 facts are "forward-looking" statements, including without limitation
 statements regarding the Company's financial position, business strategy,
 plans and objectives of management, and industry conditions.  Although the
 Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking
 statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations
 will prove to be correct.  The following factors, among others, may affect the
 Company's actual results and could cause such results to differ materially
 from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of
 the Company:  competitive factors, agribusiness risks, governmental and
 economic risks associated with foreign operations, public acceptance of
 genetically-engineered products, commercial success of new products,
 proprietary protection of and advances in technology, possible need for
 additional financing, as well as the ability of the Company to successfully
 integrate recent acquisitions and its management information systems and
 controls.  Further information on the factors that could affect the Company's
 financial results is contained in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended
 December 31, 2000 which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.
 
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                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X21755060
 
 SOURCE  Bionova Holding Corporation