January 28, 2011 08:01 ET

KWS LOCHOW Expands Cereals Activities

BERGEN, GERMANY--(Marketwire - Jan. 28, 2011) - KWS LOCHOW GMBH, headquartered in Bergen/Wohlde, Germany, has acquired the wheat germplasm assets of two American companies, Great Lakes Cereal Grains, Loveland, CO and Sunbeam Extract Co., Wooster, OH. These acquisitions provide KWS increased access to the US wheat seed market and increased opportunities to partner with organisations providing the latest technologies for cereal breeding. The move will in the long term also strengthen the company's existing activities in Germany, UK, France, Poland and Russia. KWS' wheat breeding and commercial activities in the USA will be consolidated in the newly founded company, KWS Cereals USA, LLC, located at the KWS Seeds headquarters in Shakopee, Minnesota.

With a turnover of about 70 Mio. €, an EBIT of over 10 Mio. € and 370 employees, KWS LOCHOW, along with its affiliated companies forming the KWS Group's Cereals Division, is among the leading cereal breeders in the world. KWS expects the North American market to be the first to introduce genetically modified wheat. Already today GM varieties represent about 90 % of the cultivation area of corn, soybean and sugar beet in North America. This is the background for KWS' decision to set up wheat breeding activities in the USA, thus complementing its existing GM trait development efforts, e.g. broad fungal resistance. The long term target is to secure the supply of technologically leading products to all KWS LOCHOW's markets.

"With the acquisition of these two breeding programs, we have created an extensive breeding base for the successful development of superior wheat varieties in the Soft Red Winter segment for the US farmer, and KWS is excited to be able to utilise these genetic resources in this way" says Jürgen Leitzke, Managing Director of KWS LOCHOW.

Dr. Gordon Cisar, owner of Great Lakes Cereal Grains, has been hired as the senior wheat breeder of KWS Cereals USA. Dr. Cisar has more than 20 years of experience in wheat breeding in various leading US companies. He will maintain his part-time position as Associate Director of the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat Project for Cornell University, where he is responsible for coordination of project activities in East Africa, as well as oversight of the global wheat breeding activities for the Project. Dr. Cisar will continue to be based in Colorado.

KWS SAAT AG, the parent company of KWS LOCHOW, is one of the leading plant breeding corporations in the world with activities in about 70 countries. KWS SAAT has 45 affiliated companies and about 3500 employees. Products comprise a broad range of varieties in sugar beet, corn and cereals as well as oilseeds and potatoes. KWS is independently run as a family enterprise, as it has been for more than 150 years.

Contact Information