Paine portfolio biologicals company brings in new CEO

Peter Berwerger, already a member of Paine’s Portfolio Excellence Platform, has assumed the role of chief executive at AgBiTech after having held the same role with Paine’ irrigation company.

AgBiTech, a Dallas-based biological pest control company owned by Paine Schwartz Partners, has named former Syngenta executive Peter Berwerger as its chief executive.

Berwerger succeeds the company’s founder, Anthony Hawes, who will remain with AgBiTech in the role of chief technical officer.

“I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished, including expanding into new products and geographic markets, without losing sight of our commitment to sustainable and environmentally-safe solutions,” said Hawes.

“With the recent registration of several new products and a number of others coming over the next year, now is the right time to transition the leadership of the Company as it evolves from a development company to commercial company.”

Berwerger is also a director at Paine Schwartz and a member of the firm’s Portfolio Excellence Platform and joins AgBiTech after a stint as chief executive of Paine portfolio drip irrigation company, Eurodrip. Early last year, Eurodrip merged with Israel-based Rivulis Irrigation.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Berwerger started with Syngenta as a Switzerland-based global head of M&A and business development finance in 2008, after having held previous positions with KPMG and Zurich Financial Services. After staying in that role for about three years, Berwerger became Syngenta’s global head of soybean, a role that saw him based in Uruguay for three years.

Returning to Switzerland in August 2014, Berwerger then became Syngenta’s portfolio strategy lead for global crops and assets for just less than a year before joining Eurodrip in the summer of 2015.

Using capital from its $893 million Food Chain Fund IV, Paine acquired AgBiTech in late 2015.

New York-headquartered Paine is currently seeking $1.2 billion for its Paine Schwartz Food Chain Fund V, which received a $45 million commitment from the $14.3 billion Maine Public Employees Retirement system earlier this month.