Sumitomo Corp. acquires specialty fertilizer business in France

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Sumitomo Corp. recently has acquired a specialty fertilizer business from Sipcam Oxon Group’s French unit, through Sumitomo subsidiary Sumi Agro Europe (SAE), which holds distribution companies that make crop-protection products in Europe.

With this deal, Sumitomo aims to expand its market reach in France's grains segment, known for its high fertilizer consumption. The acquisition will allow SAE to widen the marketing of its specialty fertilizer for wheat and other grains, as well as corn.

The European market represents $13.9 billion in the global crop-protection market, with France accounting for $2.9 billion of that. Expanding into the specialty fertilizer business is also one of SAE’s strategies in Europe -- a strategy that already has achieved success in Romania and Bulgaria.

As for crop protection, with the global market totaling $56.7 billion, the European market is where Sumitomo’s crop-protection business began in earnest in the 1970s with the export of crop-protection products produced by Japanese manufacturers. After adopting a strategy of intensifying its efforts downstream in the value chain, Sumitomo extended its distribution business to more than 30 countries in the Americas, Europe and elsewhere. Sumitomo plans to accelerate its efforts to construct a distribution organization boasting annual sales in the $1.2 billion range.

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