Paine & Partners’ Verdesian Life Sciences buys Specialty Fertilizer Products

Verdesian Life Sciences, a portfolio company of Paine & Partners, has acquired Specialty Fertilizer Products. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Leawood, Kansas, SPT is a provider of fertilizer efficiency products.

PRESS RELEASE

CARY, N.C., July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Verdesian Life Sciences announced that it has acquired Specialty Fertilizer Products (SFP), a Leawood, Kansas-based company focused on fertilizer efficiency products. The transaction promises to benefit customers by building on Verdesian’s history of bringing new, intellectually protected and patented products to market.

By joining forces with SFP, Verdesian will gain more than 270 patent properties and be able to offer:
· A broader portfolio for customers;
· More solutions to meet growers’ needs;
· A greater focus on key customers with the largest plant nutritional sales force in the United States; and
· A robust pipeline in plant nutrition.

“SFP’s innovative fertilizer solutions are a natural fit with Verdesian’s expansive product offerings that increase grower yields and return on investment,” said J.J. Grow, chief executive officer for Verdesian Life Sciences. “Bringing SFP into the Verdesian family represents another step in our long-term strategy to build a leading portfolio of plant health and nutrition products.”

Verdesian will further enhance its position in the crop markets with the addition of AVAIL® Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer, NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager and More Than Manure® Nutrient Manager. These products complement the current portfolio that includes Nutri-Phite® and Nutri-Phite® Plus, Sterics®, Take Off®, PolyAmines™, and the INTX® line of inoculants and seed treatments.

“We are confident that the addition of SFP’s outstanding team, impressive product lineup and excellent reputation for service will be a great combination with Verdesian Life Sciences,” Grow added. “This move strengthens our ability to bring a new level of plant health technology to customers as the demand and expectations for these valuable products continue to grow. We also remain committed to the research and development of products that are environmentally sustainable.”

“We are excited to join Verdesian, which will enable us to take our business to the next level,” said SFP founder J. Larry Sanders, who has served as president and chief executive officer. “As part of Verdesian, we will be able to offer our revolutionary and environmentally beneficial fertilizer efficiency technology to more growers in more markets, and to bring the exciting products we have in our pipeline to market. Verdesian shares our commitment to helping growers optimize their resources, and we look forward to working with J.J. Grow and the team to continue providing our customers the latest solutions in fertilizer efficiency technology that they expect from us.”

According to Grow, there will be no immediate staffing changes except in the reporting structure at the senior management level. For example, Sanders has been named executive vice president of Polymer Technology and will report to Verdesian’s J.J. Grow. The sales forces of both organizations will continue to service their clients through 2014.

In early 2015, SFP will become Verdesian and a combined sales force will be formed.

Financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed. The current U.S. and international pricing, product distribution, programs and policies for all products offered by Verdesian Life Sciences, including the acquired SFP products, will remain in place through 2014.

Verdesian Life Sciences is a plant health and nutrition company with patented biological, nutritional, seed treatment and inoculant technologies that help specialty and row crop growers and turf management professionals maximize their nitrogen and phosphorus investments. Founded in 2012 to acquire and grow plant health product companies,

Verdesian is based in Cary, N.C., with production and manufacturing facilities in Visalia, Calif., Pasco, Wash., and Kentland, Ind.

Verdesian Life Sciences is a portfolio company of Paine & Partners, LLC.

About Verdesian Life Sciences
Founded in 2012, Verdesian Life Sciences offers patented biological, nutritional, seed treatment & inoculant technologies for high-value specialty crops, row crops and turf and ornamental markets. Our 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 SFP
SFP is an innovative agricultural company that has developed a line of revolutionary products to improve fertilizer efficiency. The company’s product offerings, AVAIL® Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer, NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager and More Than Manure ® Nutrient Manager, are formulated to be added to a farmer’s existing fertilizer to improve availability of the nutrients. The company operates management, research and manufacturing facilities in Kansas, Illinois and Ohio and has relationships with key distributors throughout the United States. For more information on SFP and its products, visit sfp.com.

About Paine & Partners, LLC
Paine & Partners provides equity capital for management buyouts, going private transactions, and company expansion and growth programs. Paine & Partners engages exclusively in friendly transactions developed in cooperation with a company’s management, board of directors and shareholders. The firm currently makes investments through its $1.2 billion fund, Paine & Partners Capital Fund III, L. P. and related entities.

Paine & Partners focuses on the food and agribusiness industry globally, and its principals, through a predecessor fund, have made successful strategic investments in Seminis, then the world’s leading global developer, producer and marketer of vegetable and fruit seeds; and Advanta Netherlands Holdings BV, at the time, the largest independent agronomic seed company in the world. Paine & Partners also invested in Icicle Seafoods, a leading producer, harvester and processer of salmon, pollock, halibut, cod, crab and other seafood products with operations in North and South America and sales globally. Paine & Partners’ most recent investments include QC Corporation, a leading producer of specialty micronutrients and ferrous sulfate products; Sunrise Growers~Frozsun Foods, a leading value-added frozen fruit processor and marketer; Eurodrip, a global manufacturer and supplier of drip irrigation solutions; Verdesian Life Sciences, a U.S.-based plant health and nutrition investment platform; Scanbio Marine Group, a leading Norwegian producer of fish protein concentrate, fish meal, and fish oil; and Costa Group, Australia’s largest integrated grower, packer and marketer of fresh fruits and vegetables. The complex investment opportunities in today’s rapidly evolving agribusiness environment play to the strengths of Paine & Partners’ differentiated approach. For further information, see www.painepartners.com.

 

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