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Lariat’s Northern Seed acquires speciality grain operation

The seed distributor will take over Syngenta's research on rye and wheat crossbreed Triticale.

US private equity firm Lariat Partners has acquired Syngenta’s Triticale business as add-on to its portfolio company, Northern Seed, the firm said in a press release.

Triticale, a crossbreed of rye and wheat, has uses in animal feed, forage and biofuel production. In addition to adding the speciality grain to Northern Seed’s inventory of certified grains, the acquisition will add a research centre in Texas to the company’s operations. Northern Seed currently has a grain and forage research programme in Montana. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Given Lariat’s emphasis on investing in speciality agriculture products and services that improve the efficiencies and yields of growers, this opportunity is an ideal fit for us,” Kevin Mitchell, managing partner for Lariat Partners, said in a statement.

The acquisition compliments Northern Seed’s efforts in seed distribution and animal nutrition, according to the press release.

Northern Seed’s David Worrall will lead the distributor’s attempts to expand on Syngenta’s research and development of the Triticale varietal.

Lariat Partners is a low- to mid-market investor in speciality agriculture, energy and environment, consumer products and maritime service companies. The fund relies on a mix of buy-and-build and growth capital investments.

The group closed its first fund at $118 million in July 2014. The fund currently holds three other portfolio companies: environmental cleaning and waste company, Ecoserv; marine maintenance company, Subsea Global; and non-edible grocery merchandise distributor, LaMi Products.