Wood Creek-backed Chromatin acquires seed company

The transaction is the fifth acquisition for the sorghum specialist, which is also backed by GE Capital, BP Alternative Energy and the Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund.

Wood Creek Capital-backed sorghum seed developer Chromatin has acquired Texas-based Kirkland Seed for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition of the forage sorghum seed supplier is the fifth recent deal by its M&A team.

Chromatin focuses exclusively on development, production and distribution of sorghum seeds, having engineered more than 80 varieties tailored to specific geographies, climates and uses. The plant, which can be used as a source for starch, sugar, forage, feedstock and cellulose for biofuels, has a strong tolerance to drought conditions.

“We feel there’s a huge opportunity in sorghum as we look around the globe. And a lot of that opportunity is the result of water availability,” Preuss told Agri Investor in February, after the company’s announcement that it had acquired Mexican seed distributor Majestic Semillas.

Chromatin closed a Series E funding round on $36 million, led by Wood Creek Capital Management, at the beginning of 2014. GE Capital and BP Alternative Energy also contributed. Filings from January 2015 show Chromatin had raised $12 million out of a targeted $12.5 million and not yet held a final close on that funding round. According to reports, Chromatin raised more than $75 million in five funding rounds between 2005 and 2015.

Wood Creek Capital Management, an affiliate of the MassMutual Life Insurance Company, invests in agricultural infrastructure, farmland, water and mining assets, as well as telecom and transportation.

Other investors in Chromatin include Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund, Unilever Technology Ventures and Quantitative Investment Management.

The global sorghum trade is expected to grow to 9.1 million metric tonnes by 2025, an 8 percent increase on 2014, according to a United States Department of Agriculture report, which added the demand for animal feed in China has reshaped the global sorghum market..