Plant Health Care secures Arysta commercialisation deal - UPDATE

Plant Health Care (PHC), the developer of naturally derived agricultural products, has secured a long-awaited commercial contract with agrichemicals giant Arysta LifeScience Corporation.

Plant Health Care (PHC), the developer of naturally derived agricultural products, has secured a long-awaited commercial contract with agrichemicals giant Arysta LifeScience Corporation.

Following on from a research agreement between the two companies, the pair have agreed to develop and commercialise PHC's Harpin '' crop improvement technology in several crops and markets, in combination with a number of private equity-owned Arysta's leaf treatment products.

The companies confirmed that, following official registration, the combined product would be ready for first sales in the USA in time for the 2014 spraying season.

PHC and Arysta's research has demonstrated that use of Harpin in combination with plant protection fungicides called triazoles can make a significant contribution to the management of the increased disease resistance being seen in the popular range of strobilurin fungicides.

Wayne Hewett, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Arysta LifeScience, said the technology had been "validated in the United States corn and soybean market and Arysta LifeScience is focused on launching new products in the United States market in 2014 as well as developing the concept in a number of crops and countries."

Paul Schmidt, CEO of PHC, added that the deal marked "a significant step forward for Plant Health Care" but did not disclose the commercial terms of the deal.

In March, broker Nomura Code noted that PHC had hoped "to soon conclude the foliar Harpin deal that was mentioned in the January trading update. We expect this deal to be significant with the potential for a circa $1.0m upfront payment which would demonstrate significant value seen in the product by another well known agrichemicals company."

On the announcement of the deal, Nomura's John-Marc Bunce added that "we also see the speed of progress in this relationship to commercial launch as a positive indicator of the buy-in from this global agrichemicals company".

Shares in PHC remained unmoved at 87.50p at 11.09 on the day of the announcement.

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