Syngenta AG, a leading Swiss multinational agribusiness company, completed its acquisition of Conrad Fafard, Inc. for a purchase price of $150 million on August 1, 2006. Conrad Fafard is a leading North American producer of packaged growing media to professional ornamental growers and the consumer retail market with annual sales of roughly $85 million. Conrad Fafard is a privately held company with 240 employees and has production sites in Canada and the Eastern US. The acquisition, in a key growth area for Syngenta, is expected to reinforce its leading position in plant protection and flower seeds in a market currently estimated at $1.7 billion and growing at 6 per cent per year.
Syngenta is a world-leading agribusiness committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. The company is a leader in crop protection, and ranks third in the high-value commercial seeds market. Sales in 2005 were approximately $9.2 billion. Syngenta employs more than 19,000 people in more than 90 countries.
The Syngenta legal team was led by Syngenta's in-house legal counsel, Cheryl Quain, Daniel Michaelis and Beth Quarles with assistance from Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Canada with a team that included Frank Guarascio, Jillian Swartz, David Kruse and Elizabeth Sale (corporate); Jonathan Kahn and Martha Cook (environmental); Lee Shouldice and Holly Reid (employment); Gary Daniel (IP); Jeff Sommers (pensions and employee benefits) and Joan Kennedy and Larry Winton (real estate) and Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC in the US with a team that included Christopher Leon, Matthew Pipes and Garza Baldwin (corporate); William Whitehurst (employee benefits); Howard Grubbs and Stan Green (environmental); Hardin Halsey and Erin Staton (real estate); Mark Wiley (tax); Jim Phillips (commercial) and Charlie Edwards and Theresa Sprain (employment).
Conrad Fafard was represented in the US by Robert Agnoli and Jane Martel of Novak & Agnoli, Springfield, Massachusetts, by Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, P.C., Waltham, Massachusetts, with a team that included Jeffrey Somers and Jonathan Gothorpe (corporate); Robert Finkel and Diana Espanola (tax); Daniele Levy (antitrust) and Thomas Dunn (IP), and Steven Kirven (corporate) of the McNair Law Firm, P.A, South Carolina, and in Canada by Peter Wright (corporate); Jamie Eddy, Tracy Wong and April Parker (corporate); Raymond French, Q.C., and Joshua McElman (IP); Isabelle Moreau (real property) and Michael Gillis (environmental) of Patterson Palmer in New Brunswick with assistance from Benjamin Gross of Lavery, deBilly, LLP in Montreal and Carol Anne O'Brien of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP in Toronto.