Several specialty crop inputs segments, especially biologicals and specialty crop nutrition, have seen increasing acquisition and investment interest from private equity and large crop input companies over the past few years. We believe that this has been driven by the market entry of some of the largest strategic crop input companies and increasing grower acceptance of innovate inputs.

Our Spring 2017 Specialty Crop Inputs Report examines trends affecting businesses operating in biologicals and specialty crop nutrition, as well as spray-assist products, and explores valuations and deal multiples within the industry. Acquisition multiples and investment valuations seem to be rising and are substantial for growing, well-run businesses with strong IP and margins, in spite of the lethargic overall Ag economy.

However, significant challenges remain in making major breakthrough sales in the highly consolidated Agri-retail and distribution networks in North America, particularly for smaller or undercapitalized businesses.

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This segment includes: Soil and plant-applied biologicals and biologically derived products such as microbials, biofertilizers, plant and microbial extracts/metabolites, biostimulants (humic/fulvic acids, seaweed extracts etc.) and biopesticides.

The biologicals space within the Specialty Crop Inputs industry has seen strong interest from the major crop input companies and private equity (PE) over the last few years. From our viewpoint, the interest was driven initially by a confluence of factors such as high crop prices (mid 2000s), sound science, demand for environmentally friendly products, stagnation of new crop protection active ingredients, increasing issues with pest resistance, the search for alternate and complimentary product lines and successful results in the field. Traditionally, row crop producers stuck to the tried, true and tested (with notable exceptions such as rhizobial inoculants), and they viewed anything outside of conventional inputs with a high degree of skepticism. Only producers of high-value, specialty crops would consider experimenting with “out-of-the-box” inputs…

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Specialty Crop Inputs Report

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