Agco to Acquire Precision Planting From Monsanto

By Bob Tita and Jacob Bunge Features Dow Jones Newswires

Farm equipment manufacturer Agco Corp. will acquire a line of high-tech planting equipment from Monsanto Co. after the seed company abandoned plans to sell the unit to Deere & Co. under pressure from the Justice Department.

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Agco said Wednesday that Precision Planting LLC will strengthen its equipment offerings for large farmers. The Georgia-based maker of Massey Ferguson equipment didn't disclose terms of its deal to buy Precision.

The Justice Department last year sued to block Deere's acquisition of Precision on the grounds that the deal would suppress competition for seed-planting technology.

Deere, the leading supplier of farm machinery in the U.S., has its own high-speed seeding technology, which it is installing on new planting equipment and selling in retrofit kits.

Monsanto agreed to sell Deere the unit's planting equipment operations in 2015, while Deere agreed to make it easier for farmers to link their John Deere machinery to Monsanto's data services. That deal was worth an estimated $190 million.

Precision has developed technology that allows farmers to plant seeds accurately at up to twice the speed of conventional planting systems, which can increase growing seasons and crop yields. The equipment can be retrofitted on planting machines, and is being installed on new planters built by other companies.

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Write to Bob Tita at robert.tita@wsj.com and Jacob Bunge at jacob.bunge@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2017 12:16 ET (16:16 GMT)