New holding company acquires seed supplier
A new local agricultural holding company has acquired a seed supplier.
Grand Rapids-based Tillerman Seeds has acquired the assets of Dansville-based DF Seeds.
DF Seeds is a supplier of soybeans and a variety of wheats.
Tillerman Seeds' sole aim is to buy regional seed suppliers that have annual sales in the $10-$30 million range.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Grand Rapids-based Tillerman & Co., which provided structuring, negotiation and capital formation on the transaction, will provide financial management for the new company and its subsidiaries until a financial officer is appointed.
Wells Fargo provided senior debt financing and a revolving credit facility to Tillerman Seeds.
The Grand Rapids office of Barnes & Thornburg provided legal counsel to Tillerman Seeds on the transaction.
The Grand Rapids office of Dickinson Wright represented DF Seeds in the deal.
DF Seeds provides more than 400 farmers with seeds that generates higher yields and increased resistance to disease and pests, which is what attracted Tillerman Seed to the company.
Although DF Seeds is under new ownership, not much will change. DF Seeds will operate under the same brand. It will retain its staff, including Chris Varner, the president of DF Seeds. She will remain in her role, where she has worked since 2009 and has been the owner since 2013. She has been in the seed industry for 25 years.
“We are pleased to welcome Chris and her staff to the Tillerman Seeds team, which has been working diligently to identify acquisitions in the seed market,” said James Sheppard, CEO, Tillerman Seeds.
“The multi-nationals focus on developing seeds that can be sold nationally and internationally, which leaves plenty of room for small, local firms that focus on developing seeds for specific micro-climates and specific grower needs, including non-GMO seeds.”