French co-op takes 50% share in UCD crop protection business
InVivo, the largest agricultural co-operative group in France, and a leading player in the industry globally, with revenues of €5.7 billion, has acquired a 50% stake in Life Scientific, an Irish R&D company which specialises in off-patent crop protection products, based in UCD.
InVivo, which employs 6,600 people in 20 countries, is a union of over 220 farming co-operatives and has combined membership of over 300,000 farmers.
Life Scientific was established by Nicola Mitchell in 1995, and is currently headquartered at Nova UCD , the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin. The company, which has well established links with UCD and with Enterprise Ireland over many years, currently employs 20 people (mainly scientists, and including eight PhDs) and has an annual turnover of over €10 million. It supplies innovative crop protection products.
One of the main priorities in InVivo’s crop protection policy is the implementation of innovations from crop protection companies through on-the-ground support in the marketing of its specialty products. InVivo is also seeking to maintain on the market off-patent products essential to the development of crop protection programmes. This range of solutions will in the future be extended to include biocontrol products.
Laurent Martel, Director of InVivo Agriculture Division and Chairman of Life Scientific, said its aim is to form upstream partnerships with suppliers able to meet our specifications, with a view to marketing selected post-patent products. “Our acquisition of a stake in Life Scientific, approved unanimously by our Board of Directors, is part of that strategy.”
Nicola Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of Life Scientific, welcoming the partnership said the transaction concluded with InVivo will allow Life Scientific to scale its business model, both in France and globally. “It will strengthen our engagement with our customers, the InVivo cooperative members, and is a major endorsement of Life Scientific’s continued capacity to innovate on a global scale.”
The move is fully in line with the ‘2025 by InVivo’ strategy and in particular with InVivo Agro’s strategy of forming strategic alliances to invest in innovation and bring the Union’s co-operatives and their members a broader range of sustainable and profitable solutions in the agri-business sector.