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Land O’Lakes buying Thousand Oaks-based Ceres for $17.2 million

By   /   Friday, June 17th, 2016  /   Comments Off on Land O’Lakes buying Thousand Oaks-based Ceres for $17.2 million

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Land O’Lakes is buying Thousand Oaks-based Ceres for $17.2 million, the companies announced June 17.

Under the terms of the agreement, Minneapolis-based Land O’Lakes will buy all outstanding shares of Ceres common stock for 40 cents per share, in cash. The price per share of common stock represents an 81 percent premium to the closing price of Ceres shares of common stock on June 16.

Ceres will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes and will complement Forage Genetics International, a Land O’Lakes subsidiary, and bring new advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to FGI’s research and development pipeline.

“Through our Forage Genetics International business, Land O’Lakes is interested in providing a holistic forage offering to our customers, including alfalfa, corn silage and forage sorghum. The acquisition brings complementary strengths together, adds new advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to the FGI research and development pipeline and accelerates the process of bringing new forage solutions to existing and new markets,” said Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes.

The transaction, which has been approved by the Land O’Lakes board of directors and Ceres board of directors, is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2016. Land O’Lakes will fund the transaction with cash on hand. The transaction is not subject to any financing contingency.

“Our shift away from bioenergy and Brazil and into forages has been highly successful to date, and is culminating now in this proposed merger transaction with a preeminent leader in forage crops,” said Richard Hamilton, chief executive officer and president of Ceres. “After evaluating strategic options, our board of directors has unanimously determined that this all-cash transaction, which represents a significant premium from recent trading levels, is in the best interest of the company and its stockholders, and will advance Ceres’ mission of making the production of meat and dairy more scalable and sustainable.”

• Contact Philip Joens at [email protected]

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