The Latest News From Verdesian

Verdesian Life Sciences acquires Specialty Fertilizer Products (SFP)

July 1, 2014

Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences announced that it has acquired Specialty Fertilizer Products (SFP), a Leawood, Kansas-based company focused on fertilizer efficiency products. The transaction promises to benefit customers by building on Verdesian's history of bringing new, intellectually protected and patented products to market.

By joining forces with SFP, Verdesian will gain more than 270 patent properties and be able to offer:

-A broader portfolio for customers;
-More solutions to meet growers' needs;
-A greater focus on key customers with the largest plant nutritional sales force in the United States; and
-A robust pipeline in plant nutrition.

“SFP's innovative fertilizer solutions are a natural fit with Verdesian's expansive product offerings that increase grower yields and return on investment," said J.J. Grow, chief executive officer for Verdesian Life Sciences. "Bringing SFP into the Verdesian family represents another step in our long-term strategy to build a leading portfolio of plant health and nutrition products."

Verdesian will further enhance its position in the crop markets with the addition of AVAIL® Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer, NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager and More Than Manure® Nutrient Manager. These products complement the current portfolio that includes Nutri-Phite® and Nutri-Phite® Plus, Sterics®, Take Off®, PolyAmines™, and the INTX® line of inoculants and seed treatments.

"We are confident that the addition of SFP's outstanding team, impressive product lineup and excellent reputation for service will be a great combination with Verdesian Life Sciences," Grow added. "This move strengthens our ability to bring a new level of plant health technology to customers as the demand and expectations for these valuable products continue to grow. We also remain committed to the research and development of products that are environmentally sustainable."

"We are excited to join Verdesian, which will enable us to take our business to the next level," said SFP founder J. Larry Sanders, who has served as president and chief executive officer. "As part of Verdesian, we will be able to offer our revolutionary and environmentally beneficial fertilizer efficiency technology to more growers in more markets, and to bring the exciting products we have in our pipeline to market. Verdesian shares our commitment to helping growers optimize their resources, and we look forward to working with J.J. Grow and the team to continue providing our customers the latest solutions in fertilizer efficiency technology that they expect from us."

According to Grow, there will be no immediate staffing changes except in the reporting structure at the senior management level. For example, Sanders has been named executive vice president of Polymer Technology and will report to Verdesian's J.J. Grow. The sales forces of both organizations will continue to service their clients through 2014. In early 2015, SFP will become Verdesian and a combined sales force will be formed.

Financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed. The current U.S. and international pricing, product distribution, programs and policies for all products offered by Verdesian Life Sciences, including the acquired SFP products, will remain in place through 2014.

Verdesian Life Sciences is a plant health and nutrition company with patented biological, nutritional, seed treatment and inoculant technologies that help specialty and row crop growers and turf management professionals maximize their nitrogen and phosphorus investments. Founded in 2012 to acquire and grow plant health product companies, Verdesian is based in Cary, N.C., with production and manufacturing facilities in Visalia, Calif., Pasco, Wash., and Kentland, Ind.

Nufarm to Market Verdesian Life Sciences Product in United States and Canada

May 19, 2014

Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences announces that Nufarm will be the exclusive marketer and seller of its Bloomtime® product in the United States and Canada, effective Jan. 1, 2015. Verdesian Life Sciences will continue to market Bloomtime for the remainder of this season.

Bloomtime is a naturally-occurring biological that suppresses fire blight in apples and pears. It can be used on conventional and organic acres, does not impact pollinators such as honey bees, and fits well into a fire blight resistance management program.

“Verdesian is pleased with the partnership we’ve formed with Nufarm, and we are confident that our alliance will bring value to both companies,” said Greg Thompson, chief sales and marketing officer for Verdesian. “The agreement allows Verdesian to focus our efforts in growing our core markets in nutrition, plant health, seed treatment and inoculants, and on bringing our deep pipeline of new technologies to market.”

“The addition of Bloomtime to our portfolio aligns perfectly with our focus on delivering a broad range of solutions and allows our customers access to this essential product to fight fire blight,” said Rob Schwehr, marketing manager – TNVV, Nufarm. “For the organic segment, Bloomtime, with its OMRI listing, complements Nufarm’s extensive portfolio of products for apple and pear growers, many of which are also OMRI-listed.”

Verdesian Life Sciences Hires Mike Howell

May 1, 2014

Cary, NC-- Mike Howell has been named a technical services representative for Verdesian Life Sciences, working with Verdesian's existing and future line of nutrition technologies.

In his new position, Howell will work closely with the Verdesian sales team to meet customers' needs as well as help manage field development of new product technologies and research trials with university, customers, and private research groups.

Howell's history of success in directing product research and developing solutions for customers aligns well with the company's future growth expectations, said Greg Thompson, chief sales and marketing officer for Verdesian. “His knowledge of the industry and his passion for new technology make him an excellent fit for this important role.”

Prior to joining Verdesian, Howell was a field agronomist for Agrium Advanced Technologies where he developed and implemented research projects with third-party researchers and promoted technical and agronomic benefits with key customers both in the United States and in international markets. Previous positions include research manager for Monsanto Company and both research assistant and extension service educator with Mississippi State University.

Howell earned his bachelor's degree in soil science, master's degree in entomology and is completing his doctorate degree in agronomy from Mississippi State University. He is a certified commercial pesticide applicator and has published more than 70 scientific papers and professional presentations.

Verdesian Life Sciences Hires Kurt Seevers

February 4, 2014

Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences is pleased to announce that Kurt Seevers has joined INTX Microbials, a Verdesian Life Sciences company, as Technical Services Representative - Seed Treatment & Inoculant. Kurt will be responsible for all technical elements of Verdesian inoculant and seed treatment products. He will work closely with the INTX sales team as well as overseeing field development of new product technologies and third-party research trials.

We are pleased to have someone with Kurt's technical expertise in the seed treatment and inoculant field, said Greg Thompson, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer. He will be a key member of our field and new development initiative teams. We look forward to the value his field experience will offer customers of INTX Microbials.

Kurt has spent more than 20 years in various positions including technical services, agronomist, sales & marketing and product development. He spent the last 10 years working with Becker Underwood, most recently as field development leader. Kurt transitioned to BASF Corporation with its recent acquisition of Becker Underwood, working as a senior field biologist, seed.

Kurt holds a master's in entomology from the University of Missouri. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska.

Verdesian Life Sciences Hires Gary Orr

January 6, 2014

Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences announces that Gary Orr has joined the company as Director of Regulatory and Project Management. Gary will lead the U.S. regulatory efforts as Verdesian establishes a dedicated regulatory department to complement our product development initiatives

Gary has a proven track record in product registration and product development. In his past positions he has worked closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to obtain and maintain product registrations. He joins Verdesian from United Phosphorus, Inc., where he was Regulatory Affairs Manager. He has also worked with Arysta LifeScience and Griffin. Gary began his regulatory career at Ciba-Geigy.

We are pleased to have Gary join our team to help us continue to develop our regulatory department, said JJ Grow, Chief Executive Officer. His experience working with the EPA and his background in bioorganic chemistry will enhance our efforts as we continue to grow the Verdesian business and expand our portfolio.

Gary has a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. He obtained his bachelor's in chemistry from Northern Michigan University.

Verdesian Hires Steve Dal Sasso as Vice President of Sales

October 14, 2013

Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences has hired Steve Dal Sasso as Vice President of Sales. Steve will manage the U.S. nutrition sales team and will work closely with the our experienced team of technical sales representatives across the US to help drive sales growth, support relationships with key customers, and continue to integrate the sales team into One Verdesian.

Steve has a long career in sales and marketing in the crop and non-crop markets. Most recently, Steve worked as Business Development Manager with LidoChem, where he set up distribution for the company ' s line of fertilizers and nutritional products. Prior to that, Steve was Turf & Ornamental Business Manager for Arysta LifeScience and held key sales positions with legacy Syngenta companies.

We are pleased to have Steve join our team to help us expand our reach across the United States,said Greg Thompson, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer.His experience and customer relationships will further enhance our already strong position in the plant health and nutrition markets and enable us to provide more effective service to our distributor partners.

Verdesian Hires Allen Taylor as Regional Account Manger

October 7, 2013

Cary, NC-- Verdesian Life Sciences announces the hiring of Allen Taylor as Regional Account Manager. Allen brings more than two decades of industry experience to Verdesian and will manage all sales and customer accounts in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska.

We are excited to have Allen on board, said Greg Thompson, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. Allen brings volumes of industry knowledge to Verdesian, and his sales acumen will help lead brand growth and visibility in a key growth geography for us. We look forward to him matching the Verdesian products' strengths with agronomic needs in the areas he covers.

Allen was most recently in sales and market development for the Agrinos Company, headquartered in Oslo, Norway. Allen also has extensive experience with biologicals, having worked as Regional Manager for AgraQuest. He began his agricultural career in the vegetable seed industry.

Allen has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Washington State University and has attended Texas A&M University.

Verdesian has Acquired INTX Microbials,LLC

September 30, 2013

Cary, NC, and Kentland, IN - Verdesian Life Sciences, LLC ("Verdesian"), a Paine & Partners, LLC ("Paine & Partners") company, today announced that it has acquired INTX Microbials, LLC, ("INTX") a world‐class provider of inoculant, seed treatment, and biological growth enhancement products. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

INTX's innovative products are used in agricultural crops including soybeans, pulse and forage crops, specialty crops and cereals. INTX's inoculant, seed treatment, and biological growth enhancement products, which include both conventional as well as OMRI-certified products, align well with Verdesian's portfolio of plant health, biological and nutrition offerings. With manufacturing capabilities in Kentland, IN, and Wichita, KS, INTX has a strong track record of producing high quality product solutions for its customers.

"We are pleased with the acquisition of INTX, which further builds out Verdesian's leading portfolio of plant health and nutrition products and is a key step in our long-term growth strategy," said JJ Grow, Verdesian Chief Executive Officer. "The addition of INTX allows us to offer our customers a broader range of solutions by giving them access to a full line of technology-driven seed treatment and inoculant products. INTX has a reputation for high quality products and very high standards of service. We look forward to working with the INTX team to deliver significant value to our customers."

"We are excited to become part of Verdesian Life Sciences, which has the resources and experience to enhance our ability to grow," said INTX founder Michael Blanding. "Joining forces with Verdesian will enable us to continue developing innovative products to meet our customers' changing needs. We are confident that the Verdesian platform will help expand our specialized business, drive sales growth and enhance our marketing capabilities."

INTX will operate independently as a subsidiary of Verdesian for the remainder of 2013 and will transition into Verdesian in 2014.

About INTX Microbials

Founded in 2002 by Mike Blanding and Curtis Jennings, Kentland, Indiana-based INTX Microbials, LLC specializes in the research, production, and marketing of seed inoculants, biological growth enhancement products, and water conditioning adjuvants. INTX is a world-class leader in the evolving market of seed enhancement products, producing the latest technologies available and giving the customer a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Verdesian Hires New Vice President, Product & Technology Development

June 4, 2013

Cary, NC - Ryan Bond joins Verdesian Life Sciences, as Vice President, Product & Technology Development. In this new position, Bond will manage all aspects of the product development process which includes working with the university and scientific community to identify technologies, prioritizing our strong pipeline of impending technology, and overseeing efficacy protocols and field trials.

He comes to Verdesian from BASF Corporation, where he has worked in product and marketing management since 2009. Prior to that, he spent several years in marketing with Loveland Products, Inc./Crop Production Services and has worked in distribution sales.

"Ryan brings a varied and diverse background to Verdesian Life Sciences," said JJ Grow, Chief Executive Officer. "He has a strong background in both technology and marketing and a proven track record. We look forward to seeing the impact he makes helping Verdesian expand our product and technology platform."

Bond has an MBA from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in soil science from North Carolina State University. He obtained a master's in crop and soil environmental science and bachelor's in agronomy from Clemson University.

King Joins Verdesian as Vice President, Operations

May 30, 2013

Cary, NC - Verdesian Life Sciences, has hired Michael King as Vice President, Operations. He will be responsible for Verdesian's business operations with respect to 3 function disciplines; manufacturing, procurement and supply chain including customer service and logistics.

"We're pleased to welcome Mike to Verdesian," said JJ Grow, Chief Executive Officer of Verdesian Life Sciences. "Mike's initiative and strong operations experience in the agricultural chemical industry gives Verdesian an opportunity to continue to implement a best-in-class manufacturing network while improving supply chain and procurement efficiencies."

King brings more than 20 years' of experience to the business. For the last four years, he was Operations Manager with Makhteshim Again of North America. Prior to that, he spent almost 20 years working in various positions in operations for FMC Corporation, serving as Scheduler, Planner, Assistant Plant Manager and Plant Manager.

King has a bachelor's of science degree in business management from Jacksonville University. He is certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) through the Association for Operations Management and is a Lean 5S facilitator.

Verdesian Life Sciences Acquires Plant Syence Ltd

April 17, 2013

Cary, NC, US and Howden, East Yorkshire, UK - Verdesian Life Sciences ("Verdesian"), a Paine & Partners, LLC ("Paine & Partners") company, today announced that it has acquired all of the assets of Plant Syence Ltd and its affiliates ("Plant Syence"). Plant Syence is an East Yorkshire-based company which has served as a manufacturer's representative for Verdesian in the United Kingdom and continental Europe for the last 11 years. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"Verdesian is committed to product development and enhancing our portfolio through acquisition of companies and technologies. The acquisition of Plant Syence is an important step in Verdesian's growth strategy," said JJ Grow, Chief Executive Officer of Verdesian Life Sciences. "We have had a successful and long-term relationship with Plant Syence. They've developed strong local relationships and have offered keen insight into local markets that has led to the continued development of Verdesian products. We welcome Plant Syence to the Verdesian family and look forward to creating a global plant health company together."

"We firmly believe that this development will benefit the company and our customers," said John Haywood, CEO Plant Syence. "Increased investment from our new parent company will allow us to be more responsive to the needs of our customers and provide more support to those using our products. Our team will remain the same, as will the quality of our products, and with this extra support we plan to develop more innovative products."

Plant Syence will immediately begin conducting business as Verdesian Life Sciences Europe, Ltd. Haywood will assume the Managing Director position of Verdesian Life Science Europe and will report to JJ Grow.

Verdesian Life Sciences Acquires Northwest Agricultural Products

February 27, 2013

Cary, NC and Pasco, WA - Verdesian Life Sciences ("Verdesian"), a Paine & Partners, LLC ("Paine & Partners") company, today announced that it has acquired Northwest Agricultural Products, Inc. ("NAP"), a world-class provider of specialty agricultural products. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

NAP specializes in eco-friendly products designed to meet the diverse needs of the agricultural community through advanced chemical and biological innovation, with a focus on enhanced plant health, optimized crop yields and overall quality. The company's strong portfolio of products is highlighted by Sterics®, which enhance the absorption of phosphorous, and PolyAmines, which deliver essential micronutrients. It also produces biostimulants and biopesticides, with its Intracept and Bloomtime FD product lines. NAP's technical strengths include plant pathology and physiology, advanced fermentation, bioprocess development and chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering. As a subsidiary of Verdesian, NAP will continue to operate independently out of Pasco, WA, through the 2013 season.

JJ Grow, Chief Executive Officer of Verdesian Life Sciences, said, "We are excited about our transaction with NAP, which is an important next step in Verdesian's growth strategy. The acquisition of NAP underscores Verdesian's strategic focus on plant technologies that enhance the uptake of key nutrients using multiple modes of action as well as aligning plant health nutritional technologies with agronomic practices. NAP's differentiated products - its bioscience lines, in particular - are highly complementary to Biagro Western's, which Verdesian acquired in 2012. NAP has built a strong position in its markets, and Verdesian will leverage its international platform to expand NAP's customer base to take it to a new level of growth. We look forward to working with NAP's employees and we welcome them to the Verdesian family."

David Bergevin, President and Chief Executive Officer of NAP, said, "We are excited to team up with Verdesian - a strong platform that offers the experience and resources necessary to help a highly specialized company like NAP to grow and develop. We are confident that NAP can use the Verdesian platform to expand its business and energize its sales and marketing capabilities so that its products can enhance plant health and nutrition in markets where they are needed most."

Verdesian focuses on investments in plant health and nutrition and was established in September 2012 by Paine & Partners, a global private equity investment firm that specializes in the food and agribusiness industry globally. Verdesian acquired Biagro Western Sales, LLC, a leader in protected technologies for developing plant health and plant nutrition products, in September 2012.

About Northwest Agricultural Products, Inc.

Established in 1989 by David Bergevin in Pasco, WA, Northwest Agricultural Products, Inc. is a world-class provider of specialty agricultural products. The eco-friendly products are designed to meet the diverse needs of the agricultural community through advanced chemical and biological innovation, with a focus on enhanced plant health, optimized crop yields and overall quality. Its strong portfolio of products is highlighted by Sterics® and PolyAmines. Northwest Agricultural Products also produces biostimulants and biopesticides, with its Intracept and Bloomtime FD product lines. The Company's technical strengths include plant pathology and physiology, advanced fermentation, bioprocess development and chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering.

Verdesian Life Sciences Taps Francis X. Pirozzi as CFO

February 11, 2013

Cary, North Carolina - Verdesian Life Sciences announces Francis X. Pirozzi, CPA, will be CFO for Verdesian Life Sciences effective immediately. With a proven track record in start-up enterprises as well as established firms, Pirozzi brings an excellent set of financial skills to help lead Verdesian.

His experience includes dealings with global mergers, acquisitions and risk management for diverse agricultural and consumer companies as well as financial providers. Most recently, Pirozzi was director and assistant treasurer of Red Hat, Inc. where he managed a global $1.3 billion portfolio of financial investments and risk management for an enterprise that grew revenue from $600 million to over $1 billion within a 4-year span.

Prior to his financial oversight at Red Hat, Pirozzi was Vice President of Finance for Etigra in Cary, NC. He has also served in various managerial positions in North Carolina-based businesses including R.H. Donnelley, TIMCO Aviation Services, Inc., Jefferson Pilot Financial and Remington Arms Company.

Pirozzi's global financial experience was a key factor in management's decision to recruit him for his current role at Verdesian Life Sciences, according to JJ Grow, Chief Executive Officer. "We are working to broaden our global portfolio and refine our technologies to build a successful, vibrant company domestically as well as abroad," Grow says. "Pirozzi has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in these key areas critical to attaining our goal. We feel he will be an essential asset to our management team as we move forward."

Verdesian Life Sciences Adds Greg Thompson as Chief Sales & Marketing Officer

October 29, 2012

Cary, North Carolina - Verdesian Life Sciences announces the addition of Greg Thompson as Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, effective immediately

Greg will be responsible for driving sales in key U.S. markets as Verdesian begins to roll out its strategy to be a leader in the plant health and nutrition segment.

Thompson most recently held the position of Executive Vice President - Sales & Marketing at Nufarm. While in this role, he was instrumental in driving growth and diversification. Greg excelled at increasing profits in the Agriculture and Specialty business as he supervised a national team of sales and marketing account managers.

Greg will be reporting to Chief Executive Officer, J.J. Grow, with whom he already has a history. Grow and Thompson worked closely at Etigra where Greg spent several years as Director Of National Accounts. There he was responsible for sales and marketing in the Vegetation Management and Turf & Ornamental segments.

"Greg is recognized as a top industry sales and marketing leader and I am excited to have him on our team. He joins Verdesian with a very strong background in building world class sales teams. We're looking forward to his contributions," says Grow. "His background and leadership experience will be critical in all phases of Verdesian's evolution."

Thompson says, "I'm excited to have the opportunity to be involved in something substantial from the early stages. It's an opportunity to reinvest my past experiences to help build a business through acquisition and organic growth. It will also be interesting to move into a new agricultural and turf segment that I haven't been a part of before."

Prior to his service at Nufarm and Etigra, Greg had a progressive career of nearly ten years at BASF where he held multiple positions. The latest of those was Regional Manager of Turf & Ornamental where he was instrumental in developing and implementing strategic planning, channel strategy and communications as well as other major aspects of the business.

Paine & Partners Establishes Verdesian Life Sciences as Investment Platform; Announces Acquisition of Biagro Western as First Investment For New Platform

September 10, 2012

New York, NY, Chicago, IL, San Francisco, CA - Paine & Partners, LLC ("Paine & Partners"), a global private equity investment firm, today announced the establishment of a new investment platform called Verdesian Life Sciences ("Verdesian"), which will focus on investments in plant health and nutrition.

In addition, Paine & Partners today announced that, as the first investment for that platform, Verdesian has acquired Biagro Western Sales, LLC ("Biagro Western"), which focuses on protected technologies used to develop plant health and plant nutrition products in agricultural markets globally. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With the acquisition of Biagro Western, Verdesian will become a leader in the plant health and plant nutrition market. As a subsidiary of Verdesian, Biagro Western will continue to provide customers with innovative solutions that specialize in plant nutrition, phosphite fertilizers, plant protectants and seed treatments, under the Biagro Western name. JJ Grow will serve as Chief Executive Officer of Verdesian.