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Merck KgaA acquires Agribiotics for US$25 million

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Nitragin Holding, Nitragin and Merck KGaA in Agribiotics

On March 24, 2006, Nitragin Holding Inc., a Canadian affiliate of Merck KGaA, acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of Agribiotics Holdings Inc. for approximately US$25 million. Nitragin, the crop bioscience arm of Merck KGaA's Performance & Life Science Chemicals Division, has been commercializing plant health-promoting products since 2004 and has established a global leadership position in this fast-emerging market. Through this acquisition, Nitragin will secure exclusive rights to several crop-enhancing technologies and their applications. Agribiotics is a Canadian developer and manufacturer of legume inoculants, bacteria which facilitate nitrogen absorption through root systems. Agribiotics recently expanded its technology portfolio to include novel, patented crop enhancing technologies for use with legumes as well as non-legume crops. Nitragin Holding Inc., Nitragin Inc. (a US subsidiary of Merck KGaA) and Merck KGaA were represented by Fasken Martineau, with a team that included Mark Camilleri and Kathleen Yoa (corporate), William Bies (tax) and Anthony Baldanza (competition). RatnerPrestia P.C. advised Nitragin Holding Inc., Nitragin Inc. and Merck KGaA on intellectual property issues and US antitrust matters. Tai Nahm of Fasken Martineau assisted RatnerPrestia with respect to certain Canadian intellectual property matters.

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