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Commission grants clearance to DLF Seeds to acquire PGG

The Commerce Commission has granted clearance to global seed producer DLF Seeds A/S to acquire the New Zealand market leader in forage and turf seeds, PGG Wrightson Seeds.

In considering the acquisition, the Commission focused primarily on the effects on the production and supply of ryegrass seeds, in particular those containing novel endophytes. An endophyte is a fungus which grows in a symbiotic relationship with the grass, making it more resilient to certain pests.

Deputy Chair Sue Begg said the Commission was satisfied the acquisition would not be likely to substantially lessen competition in any of the markets it assessed.

“DLF is not at present a close competitor of PGG Wrightson Seeds in respect of ryegrass seeds containing endophytes, and is unlikely to be so in the future,” Ms Begg said.

“Further, the merged entity would continue to be constrained by Barenbrug Agriseeds, and a number of smaller competitors.”

A copy of the Commission’s full reasons for granting clearance will be available on the case register in due course.

DLF is a Danish company owned by a cooperative of Danish grass-seed farmers, dealing in forage and amenity seeds, and other crops. It operates either directly or through its subsidiaries in 20 countries around the globe. DLF began operations in New Zealand in 2004.

PGG Wrightson Seeds is a New Zealand company formed in 1990. It is wholly owned by PGG Wrightson Limited (NZX:PGW). PGW Seeds is one of the largest proprietary seed companies in the southern hemisphere, servicing New Zealand and global markets.

Merger clearance process

Further information explaining how the Commission assesses a merger application is available on our website.

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