Seed World

KWS Is Making a Start in the Vegetable Seeds Business and Acquires Pop Vriend Seeds

Today, seed specialist KWS SAAT SE (KWS) announced that the company has signed a binding agreement to acquire Pop Vriend Seeds (Andijk/NL). Pop Vriend Seeds is market leader in spinach seeds and offers a promising portfolio of other vegetable seeds. The company, founded in 1956 and strongly growing, achieved a turnover of around 75 million euros in the 2017/2018 financial year and above average profitability. This acquisition will strengthen the future growth of turnover and result of KWS and contribute to achieving strategic goals. The transaction is expected to be completed by July 1, 2019.

The market volume of vegetable seeds is estimated at around five billion euros per year, the trend pointing upwards. Main drivers of worldwide vegetable consumption are the growing awareness of a healthy diet rich in vitamins, and the global population growth. It is a strategic goal of KWS to establish a significant position in the field of vegetable seeds in the long run. For this purpose, the company will make step-by-step investments in the years to come. The strategy builds on establishing own vegetable breeding activities and achieving organic growth, together with the production and distribution of licensed varieties. This newly founded business activity for vegetable seed is going to be based in Wageningen (Netherlands), an innovative region for the development of new vegetable varieties.

Moreover, KWS will focus on suitable acquisitions; the acquisition of Pop Vriend Seeds is an important step within the scope of the company’s strategic orientation.

“We heartily welcome our new colleagues in KWS and are very much looking forward to continuing to successfully develop the business further together with our new colleagues and the clients of Pop Vriend Seeds,” says Hagen Duenbostel, CEO of KWS. “With this acquisition, we establish ourselves in an economically attractive market with long-term growth and which follows the trend to a healthy diet. For more than 160 years we have been developing very successfully varieties of agricultural plants. This competency will now help to build up the new business activity in vegetables.”

“We are very excited about KWS, a family-owned company with a long-term history and horizon in plant breeding. KWS is striving for continuing and growing our business from the site in Andijk, which is good news for our people, their families and our clients worldwide,” says Lara Timmerman, CEO of Pop Vriend Seeds.