Dümmen and Agribio Group announce merger

Creating a leading company in the worldwide floricultural breeding industry. Breeding and young plant production companies Dümmen and Agribio Group announce the intention to merge together. The combination will profit from the advanced breeding technologies of Agribio Group and the professional supply chain skills of Dümmen. Customers will benefit from a complete product portfolio, while retaining the close-to-customer attitude for which both companies are known.

Based in Germany, Dümmen has a strong reputation in poinsettia and spring annuals like geraniums, while Dutch based Agribio Group is strong in products as chrysanthemum, carnation, rose and Calandiva®. The intended merger will create a breeding company with a unique international production and sales network and a broad assortment of cut flowers, pot and bedding plants.

The new company will have the scale to lead innovation through extensive research and development and create added value for growers, brokers, retailers and consumers. The combined company will have around 6,000 employees worldwide and realize € 175 million ($235 million) sales annually. The Dümmen family and management and H2 Equity Partners will be the shareholders of the new company. The proposed merger is driven by a rapidly changing business environment in the worldwide floricultural industry. Retailers are becoming increasingly important and growers are consolidating, leading to a desire for more value add in the chain, and increased professionalism in the industry. Advanced breeding techniques are becoming available in the floricultural industry, albeit with high investments in R&D. Breeding companies need sufficient size to cope with these developments and make sure they can offer long-term value to the chain. The new company will follow a growth strategy and is committed to continuously invest in R&D, product quality and marketing to ensure the highest level of quality and service to its customers.

The new company will have two independent divisions. The Agribio division will be responsible for cut flowers and pot plants, and the Dümmen division will be responsible for bedding plants and poinsettia. The current brands like Fides, Red Fox, Barberet & Blanc, Lex+ and Ecke will be leading in the market place going forward. The Agribio division will be headed by Harry Kloppenburg, currently CEO of Agribio Group. The Dümmen division will be headed by Tobias Dümmen and Perry Wismans, current board members of Dümmen. The North American operations of Agribio Group (including Oro Farms and Ecke) will be brought under the leadership of the Dümmen division. The directors of the two divisions will form the board of the new company together with the current board members of Agribio Group, Roger Gerritzen (CFO), Roger Peeters (director R&D) and Peter Kroeze (Chairman).

Tobias Dümmen says:

‘For the Dümmen family, this is an important step to add global market presence for our company, add value for our customers, and increase development opportunities for our employees. We consider this to be a major project, which needs careful attention in the execution. We are committed to retaining our family values and our grower-to-grower attitude focused on delivering top quality at the right terms. We believe that both companies will benefit from each other’s key strengths and that combining these will be beneficial to our customers.’

Harry Kloppenburg says:

‘Ever since the company became independent in 2010 we have actively pursued a growth strategy focused on complementing our portfolio and market presence. Because of this merger we are virtually capable of offering the full range of products in all continents. Hence we have the opportunity to create a unique company, focused on supplying new and differentiating products with a good price/quality ratio to our customer’s thereby creating added value to the entire floricultural chain. We are impressed by Dümmen’s deep knowledge of the industry and its category management skills, something we can certainly benefit from.’

About Dümmen

Dümmen has started with a small greenhouse in the late 60’s. It has grown to one of the leading young plant producers and breeders of bedding plants and poinsettia worldwide. Key markets are Europe and North America. The company’s headquarter is located in Rheinberg, Germany where the biggest part of the European rooting activities take place. Additional sales offices are located in the USA, France and Italy. Next to this facility there are production facilities in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Italy. In total Dümmen operates more than 75ha (ca 190 acres) of greenhouse and produces more than 350 million cuttings.

About Agribio Group

Agribio Group is active in 56 countries and trades over one billion cuttings per year. The company is a global top-3 player in terms of breeding and vegetative propagation of plants and flowers. The Agribio Group includes top breeding companies such as Fides, Ecke, Japan Agribio, Barberet & Blanc, Bartels Stek and Lex+. The company became independent in March 2010. Since then Agribio Group made major steps to improve efficiency and focuses fully on the breeding of flowers and plants. In 2011 it took a stake in Genetwister Technologies.