Verdesian Life Sciences (“Verdesian” or the “Company”), a leading platform that develops patented biological, nutritional, fertilizer enhancers, seed treatment and inoculant technologies for high-value specialty crops, row crops, and turf and ornamental markets, today announced it has entered into a definitive stock purchase agreement with funds managed by AEA Investors LP (“AEA”). Verdesian’s management team, including President and CEO Kenny Avery, will continue to lead the Company following the close of the transaction.
Since its establishment by Paine Schwartz in 2012, Verdesian has grown into a market leader in Nutrient Use Efficiency by executing on a multi-pronged go-to-market strategy, completing six add-on acquisitions, and developing best-in-class products. The Company has expanded geographically into new markets, including South America, and has filed more than 290 patents since 2014. With more than 240 employees around the world, a diverse portfolio of plant nutrient offerings and a stronger financial foundation to scale the business, Verdesian is poised for its next phase of growth.
“AEA is the right partner to help us continue scaling Verdesian and doing what we do better than anyone else: offering Nutrient Use Efficiency technologies for growers all over the world,” said Mr. Avery. “With AEA, we are gaining a global partner who recognizes the potential of our products and will support our growth, both organically and through strategic investments, in North America and around the world. We are proud of what we have accomplished since our founding and have had a very successful partnership with Paine Schwartz. Looking ahead, we are excited to work with AEA as we continue to provide critical products to farmers that increase their productivity, profitability and ability to do so sustainably.”
“We believe Verdesian’s leading product suite, R&D capabilities, entrepreneurial and customer-focused culture, and industry leading management team truly differentiate the Company from its peers and create a strong platform from which to grow and expand,” said Rahul Goyal, Partner, AEA. “The Company has considerable opportunities ahead as the need for greater productivity and more sustainable farming practices drives global demand for Verdesian’s Nutrient Use Efficiency solutions. We look forward to partnering with Kenny and the entire Verdesian team to help the Company take the next steps in building on its portfolio of plant health and nutrition products both organically and through strategic acquisitions around the world.”
Kevin Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer of Paine Schwartz, said, “Our success with Verdesian, from creating the platform to building it into an important market-leader, is another validation of our thesis driven approach to investing in agribusiness. We identified plant health and nutrition as important aspects of the agribusiness value chain and as areas that align closely with our sustainability strategy in the sector. We were able to help Verdesian capture opportunities through key strategic acquisitions and substantial investments across the platform. AEA Investors will be a great partner for the Company and we are confident that Verdesian will continue to thrive and create enormous benefits for farmers and the environment in the years ahead.”
Founded in 2012, Verdesian Life Sciences offers patented biological, nutritional, fertilizer enhancers, seed treatment and inoculant technologies for high-value specialty crops, row crops, and turf and ornamental markets. Verdesian’s plant-health products, nutritional catalysts and seed treatments/inoculants help growers farm more efficiently to maximize yields. Verdesian’s technologies answer the needs facing agriculture including increasing pressures on food demand, supply and food safety. Verdesian remains committed to the research and development of environmentally sustainable products. Further information about Verdesian is available at www.vlsci.com.
About AEA Investors
AEA Investors LP was founded in 1968 by the Rockefeller, Mellon and Harriman family interests and S.G. Warburg & Co. as a private investment vehicle for a select group of industrial family offices with substantial assets. AEA has an extraordinary global network built over many years which includes leading industrial families, business executives and leaders; many of whom invest with AEA as active individual investors (“Participants”) and/or join its portfolio company boards or act in other advisory roles. Today, AEA’s approximately 90 investment professionals operate globally with offices in New York, Connecticut, London, Munich and Shanghai. The firm manages funds that have over $15 billion of invested and committed capital including the leveraged buyouts of middle market companies and small business companies and mezzanine and senior debt investments. AEA Private Equity invests across three sectors: value added industrials, consumer and services. For further information, please see www.aeainvestors.com.
About Paine Schwartz Partners
A global leader in sustainable food chain investing, Paine Schwartz Partners is a private equity firm focused exclusively on investment opportunities in the fast-growing, dynamic global food and agribusiness sectors. The firm’s investment, operations and finance professionals invest throughout cycles across the food and agribusiness value chain, and bring a collaborative and active management approach to portfolio companies. For further information, please see www.paineschwartz.com.
Verdesian Life Sciences
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Andy Brimmer / Aaron Palash
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher