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Corteva acquires full ownership of PhytoGen Seed Co. joint venture

PhytoGen CottonseedCorteva Inc. signed an agreement with J.G. Boswell Co. to purchase its ownership interest in PhytoGen Seed Co. LLC – a joint venture between the two companies.

PhytoGen was formed to focus on the U.S. cottonseed industry. With a 53.5% stake prior to the agreement, Corteva has operated the joint venture in the U.S. market through its wholly owned subsidiary, Mycogen LLC, according to a news release.

With a 100% ownership position in PhytoGen, Corteva will become the sole owner of the intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, proprietary germplasm and information, as well as know-how. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The joint venture dates back to 1998, when Mycogen and J.G. Boswell partnered to market cotton seed internationally. Under the original arrangement, Mycogen contributed cash, cotton breeding material and licenses to its technology, and patent rights for genetically enhanced cotton in exchange for a 51% interest in the new company and rights to certain intellectual property.

J.G. Boswell of Pasadena, California, offered its PhytoGen cotton seed business and cotton breeding material in exchange for cash and a 49% interest in the joint venture.

The new company, called Phytogen Seed Co., marketed cotton seed under the PhytoGen brand in California, Arizona and Greece. It also developed new cotton seed products for the Mid-South and southeastern U.S. markets and select international markets, including Argentina and Australia.

In 1997, PhytoGen had cotton seed sales of about $9 million and held about 40% of the market for high-value Acala and Pima cotton varieties grown in California.

“This acquisition provides a solid proof point of our consistent commitment to driving long-term growth through targeted investments in solid margin opportunities that at the same time strengthen our ability to serve our customers,” James C. Collins Jr., Corteva Agriscience CEO, said in the release.

Corteva has a high-yielding, elite germplasm portfolio, with breeding infrastructure and technologies expected to continue to advance genetic gain. It also has  trait technologies to address existing and emerging pest management challenges for cotton growers.

PhytoGen brand varieties with the Enlist cotton trait, for example, provide options against tough-to-control and resistant weeds.  WideStrike and WideStrike 3 Insect Protection helps cotton farmers protect their crops from potential yield-robbing lepidopteran pests.