BAYER CROPSCIENCE says it will spend $124 million to purchase Crompton Corporation's 50 percent share of the Gustafson seed treatment business in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Bayer CropScience, which already holds a 50 percent share of the U.S. and Canadian Gustafson joint ventures, will have full ownership of Gustafson's NAFTA business.

Gustafson manufactures and markets seed treatment products and related equipment, with annual sales of about $130 million. Based in Plano, Texas, and Calgary, Canada, the company employs approximately 250 people in North America.

“Purchase of the Gustafson seed treatment business would allow us to participate directly in this increasingly important segment of the NAFTA crop protection markets,” says Emil Lansu, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP and head of Bayer CropScience for the NAFTA region.

According to Lansu, the acquisition would give Bayer CropScience the benefit of the full range of Gustafson's products, including certain products from third parties, which would continue to make up a key component of the Gustafson product portfolio.

“We presently have several strong seed treatment products,” Lansu says. “With the Gustafson purchase we look to more fully realize the potential of this business while enhancing our ability to provide solutions for growers.”

Crompton will continue to participate in the global seed treatment business. In the NAFTA region, the company will supply its seed treatment products through the Bayer CropScience-Gustafson business. Crompton's seed treatment business outside of NAFTA will be unaffected by the transaction, the company says.