Seed World

DLF Sends ‘Clear Signal’ to Sugar Industry with New Acquisition

DLF announces that Syngenta’s sugar beet seed business is now part of the DLF Group’s seed activities. DLF took over the sugar beet activities on October 1, 2017 and have welcomed more than 300 dedicated employees to MariboHilleshög, which is the new name for the Group’s stand-alone and focused business unit selling sugar beet seed to more than 30 countries. MariboHilleshög combines the two strong sugar beet brands, Maribo and Hilleshög, which will be widely marketed.
“With this acquisition, we are consolidating our strategic platform, where we consider sugar beet to be a fine match with our product portfolio,” says Truels Damsgaard, CEO of DLF. “Sugar beet is a high-value crop with a high-technology content, which allows DLF to add competitive power to the value chain from plant breeding to production, marketing and sales.”

DLF is committed to the continuous development of new, improved sugar beet varieties to optimise the sugar production and make it more profitable, it said in a news release.

“We are committed to invest in plant breeding on a long-term scale, and we see obvious synergies with our knowledge within biotechnology,” says Truels Damsgaard. “Our R&D platform includes a global breeding network where we combine conventional breeding and testing with state-of-the-art biotechnology tools as well as systems for screening for special features such as root development and stress tolerance.”

The traditional sugar beet breeding activities are centred in MariboHilleshög Research AB in Landskrona, Sweden, where we have the infrastructure and staff to enhance and develop seed technology and plant breeding. This includes development work for the North American market. The applied biotechnological work will be incorporated at existing DLF competence centres.

Production management as well as marketing and sales are based in MariboHilleshög in Holeby, Denmark.

“Here we have made significant investments to maintain and expand the production capacity for the benefit of our customers,” says Truels Damsgaard.

The European seed multiplication takes place mainly in France and Italy. In the US, the seed multiplication takes place in Oregon, and further processing of the seed as well as sales and marketing is located in Longmont, Colorado.

“With this acquisition, DLF wishes to send a clear signal to the sugar industry, the growers and related organisations, that DLF considers sugar beet production as a strategic focus area with a high potential, and we look forward to working with all involved in the industry,” says Truels Damsgaard.