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Monsanto Exits From European Cereals Business

Monsanto Announces Intention To Exit From European Cereals Business

Monsanto Company announced today its intention to exit from its European cereal seed business headquartered at Trumpington, Cambridge, UK.

This results from a strategic decision by Monsanto’s corporate management to realign the company’s core businesses in order to focus on those projects that will best capitalize on its market and technological strengths.

In making this announcement, the company noted that growth expected to come from the introduction of hybrid wheat seeds, one of the principal reasons for the purchase of this business in 1998, has failed to materialize.

“Nonetheless, we’ve made great progress over the past few years in realigning the cereals business to make it more competitive in a much tougher European seed market,” said Jeff Cox, Monsanto UK’s General Manager. “While our lack of success in hybrids means this is no longer a good strategic fit for Monsanto, the changes we’ve made could make it a great addition to another company’s portfolio.”

In addition to the Cambridge site, also affected are breeding stations in France, Germany and the Czech Republic. The cereal seed business is supported by sales, marketing, product development and seed production operations in the UK, and operates through agencies in major European markets.

The company announced that it will begin immediately seeking a buyer for all or parts of its cereal seed business.

As a result of these announcements, the Company has entered into a collective consultation process with trade unions, employee representatives and all affected staff.

Proposals were also announced to reorganize Monsanto’s Northern European Region crop protection and oilseed rape business, in line with the company’s plans to evaluate its business model and approach around the world to ensure its cost structure is appropriate for today’s highly-competitive agricultural market. The intention is for this business to move to another location in the Cambridge area.

“Monsanto will remain in the UK as a streamlined crop protection and oilseed rape business, with our flagship plant protection product -- Roundup® -- continuing to lead the market. These changes, while always difficult, should position the company for success in the years ahead,” Cox said.

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.

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