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Norfolk Business Awards 2019

Seed breeder looking for growth in Asian markets after Syngenta takeover

PUBLISHED: 11:30 07 August 2018

From left, Jeff Colegrave, Michael Kester and Dominic Lacey as Syngenta agrees its acquisition of Floranova in Foxley. Picture: Floranova.

From left, Jeff Colegrave, Michael Kester and Dominic Lacey as Syngenta agrees its acquisition of Floranova in Foxley. Picture: Floranova.

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A Norfolk-based flower and seed breeder is set to bolster its presence in Asian and US markets after a takeover by the Dutch company Syngenta.

Floranova, based in Foxley near Dereham, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by Syngenta, an established agricultural company which operates in more than 90 countries.

Founded in 1978, Floranova is a flower and home garden vegetable seeds breeder, with offices and staff in Norfolk, Indiana and California, and customers in more than 50 countries around the world. In 2009 the company launched Vegetalis which specialises in the breeding and production of vegetable seed for the ornamental sector.

Following Syngenta’s acquisition of Floranova, the two companies will continue to work independently but it is hoped the move will help the Norfolk firm to strengthen its presence in fast-growing markets such as Asia.

Jeff Colegrave, chairman of Floranova, said: “I am proud of the achievements of Floranova during the period of my ownership; there has been exciting development and growth, particularly in the Asian markets.

“The acquisition of Floranova by Syngenta is excellent news for all stakeholders and will mean Floranova will be stronger and better placed to face the challenges in a highly competitive market place.”

Floranova employs 50 people in Norfolk, three in Indiana and two in California, but commercial director Julian Wilson said he did not expect the takeover to impact them.

“The work force will not be affected,” he said. “There shouldn’t really be a great deal of change – there might be some changes in the further afield markets such as America but this would not affect staffing issues.”

Michael Kester, head of flowers at Syngenta, said: “Both Syngenta and Floranova will continue to operate as independent companies, with their own distribution and differentiated portfolio. This provides exciting new opportunities to strengthen our overall presence in the global flowers market.”

Floranova’s latest accounts filed at Companies House show that in the year to the end of March 2017 it grew turnover to £5.29m, up from £4.47m the year before.

The company said it had a “broad customer base ranging from the US and Europe to the Middle East and Asia”.

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