Chemicals group Omnia has announced the purchase of Oro Agri Opportunities, a producer of agricultural biological products. The deal is worth $100-million and is expected to be concluded in the next two months, as it needs approval from regulators and the Reserve Bank.

Omnia to buy Oro AgroOro Agri develops non-toxic and ecologically safe crop protection products, liquid fertilisers and soil conditioners for large-scale agriculture and also smaller pasture, lawn and garden applications. Omnia’s agricultural biologicals and water soluble nutrient businesses have a global footprint, and the company has production, research and development facilities in the US, Brazil and South Africa.

According to Omnia, the purchase of Oro Agri will add new products to the company’s offering and will expand the geographical reach of its agricultural biologicals business, placing it on an accelerated growth path. Omnia will also acquire 52% of the ordinary shares of Oro Agri South Africa not owned by the parent company. Oro Agri and Oro Agri South Africa will become subsidiaries of Omnia.

Adriaan de Lange, Managing Director of the Omnia Group, says the transaction is in line with Omnia's strategy and the next step in the evolution of the company's Nutriology concept of “the science of growing”. “In line with the … ‘green revolution’ in the global agriculture sector, the demand for agriculture biological products is underpinned by the increasing emphasis on nutrient and water-use efficiency, coupled with the rising demand for products that are environmentally friendly, enhance crop performance and improve yields,” he adds.

“We are looking forward to joining Omnia and creating new opportunities to develop the business internationally. Omnia is recognised as an international player in the AgriBio market, with the agriculture division the market leader in plant nutrition products in South Africa and Southern Africa. We are excited to be a part of the group's future growth both locally and internationally,” says Erroll Pullen, chairperson and CEO of Oro Agri.

“Omnia will have access to Oro Agri's global network through its operations in Brazil, Europe, South Africa and the US, with early developments in Asia Pacific. We will leverage the synergies between the two companies to maximise the sales potential in these key markets. Omnia's intellectual property portfolio and product registration process will be enhanced by the global experience and knowledge of the Oro Agri team in the various regions,” de Lange concludes.

Image credit: http://www.omnia.co.za/our-business/group-management


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