Herbicide supplier Albaugh said to be exploring sale

Reuters — Albaugh LLC is exploring a sale that could value the privately held U.S. producer of agricultural crop protection chemicals at more than US$1.5 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

Albaugh, controlled by its 67-year-old founder Dennis Albaugh, is working with investment bank JPMorgan Chase and Co. to discuss a potential sale of the company following expressions of interest from private equity firms, the people said this week.

There is no certainty that the negotiations will lead to any deal, the sources added, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

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Albaugh did not respond to a request for comment, while JPMorgan declined to comment.

Headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa, the heart of the U.S. grain belt, Albaugh makes and sells generic herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and seed treatments.

It would not be the first time that Dennis Albaugh has sought to sell the company he founded in 1979. Israeli agrochemicals company MA Industries ended talks to acquire Albaugh for about US$1 billion in 2011, blaming findings during due diligence. Albaugh, however, said MA Industries demanded changes to the deal’s terms and conditions.

Last week, Platform Specialty Products Corp decided to abandon the sale of its agrochemicals business after the offers it attracted failed to meet its valuation expectations of more than US$4.5 billion. It will pursue a spinoff or initial public offering of the unit instead.

Albaugh’s assets in Canada include AgriStar Canada, which it formed in 2013 after buying AgWest, a crop input buying group formed in 1997 by independent Prairie ag retailers.

AgriStar’s product catalogue in Canada includes Crush’R glyphosate formulations; Slam’R, a clodinafop herbicide; and generic MCPA and 2,4-D herbicides.

Albaugh makes and sells certain glyphosate formulations in Canada and the U.S. through a licensing deal it signed with Monsanto in 2015.

Reporting for Reuters by Greg Roumeliotis in New York. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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