Yara acquires water crop sensor tech company
In a strategic move to engage in agricultural water use efficiency, Yara has acquired the German water sensor company ZIM Plant Technology GmbH.
ZIM Plant Technology sells crop water sensor technology, which is mostly used in high-precision irrigation systems to improve yields and water use efficiency.
“We will incorporate the knowledge and technology into Yara’s existing Crop Nutrition solutions, providing a valuable add-on for our offering to irrigated farming. This clearly improves Yara’s leadership position within the growing fertigation segment,” says SVP and Head of Downstream Egil Hogna.
The farmers’ motivation to purchase the technology is reduced water consumption, increased yields and improved crop quality. Integrating the water precision tool with Yara’s knowledge on precise application of water soluble and liquid fertilizer (fertigation) will multiply the market potential for both.
“This is a strategic step for Yara into a new segment of the precision farming business, and it is also a response to our Creating Impact strategy of addressing resource scarcity,” says Hogna.
The company ZIM Plant Technology GmbH has developed the most advanced and reliable technology to monitor the water status of the crop.
“After receiving several innovation awards, I am excited to see that my invention will now be implemented at large scale through Yara” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Zimmermann, founder of ZIM Plant Technology GmbH.
Benjamin Erhart, Investment Manager with ZIM’s investor High-Tech Gruenderfonds agrees: “The transfer of the company to Yara offers a fast market access on global scale, enabling farmers around the world to use water more efficiently. Furthermore, this transaction shows that investments in highly potential technology companies and great teams are rewarded by returns.”
Freshwater availability is predicted to become one of the major global challenges. Currently, agriculture uses about 70% of freshwater withdrawals. If water use efficiency is not improved, the agricultural sector alone will need more water than what is sustainably availably before 2030. As a conservative estimate, the water sensor technology reduces water usage by 20%.
Closing of the deal subject to normal conditions is set to 1 January 2014.
For more information, please contact
Bernhard Stormyr, Director of Communications, Yara International ASA
Phone: +47 9010 7685
Simon Rüger, CEO, ZIM Plant Technology GmbH
Phone: +49 (163) 4042889
Yara delivers solutions for sustainable agriculture and the environment. Our fertilizers and crop nutrition programs help produce the food required for the growing world population. Our industrial products and solutions reduce emissions, improve air quality and support safe and efficient operations. Founded in Norway in 1905, Yara has a worldwide presence with sales to 150 countries. Safety is always our top priority.
For further details, please visit www.yara.com
About ZIM Plant Technology GmbH
ZIM Plant Technology GmbH is active in the development, production and sale of non-invasive, plant-based sensor systems that measure in real time and with high precision the water status of leafy plants under greenhouse and field conditions.
For further details, please visit www.zim-plant-technology.com
About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing rounds. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE Color, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 573.5 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 301.5 million HTGF II).
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Phone: +49 (228) 823 001-14
Fax: +49 (228) 823 000-50