Dümmen Orange's ambitious growth strategy worries small breeders

Dümmen Orange and its ambitious growth strategy worries small breeders. British private equity firm BC Partners acquires a majority stake in Dümmen Orange. This was announced last Friday, in a press release. Jean-Baptiste Wautier, Managing Partner at BC Partners is looking forward to backing Dümmen Orange as they pursue an ambitious growth strategy, fueled by investments in sales & marketing, advances in breeding technologies, and selective acquisitions. Especially the latter, selective acquisitions, are what worry the smaller breeders.

Worries
All these acquisitions worry small breeders. "As a sector, we have to ensure that not everything will be owned by the 'big guys'," says Berry Phillipa, chairman of Blooming Breeders, a association of breeders committed to preserving the leading position of Dutch breeding of ornamental plants in the worldwide market.

"Soon, only a few cutting manufacturers will be left. This needs to be prevented, but it will not be easy to find a way to achieve this. The recently adopted laws on patenting genetics by the EU parliament is also favoring these 'big guys' over the smaller breeding companies.

Logical result of consolidation
Mark Schermer, responsible for the communication at Dümmen Orange, understands these worries, but also stresses the importance of consolidation. "It is a consequence of the consolidation move that we have been making for a while now. This movement is necessary because our clients, the growers, but also the retailer, become increasingly more exacting. The market is changing and we must change with it."

Besides that, Schermer stresses that current changes only affect shareholders and not business itself. "The biggest difference is that having larger funds at our disposal than before." It is unclear if this suggests an acquisition of third parties, like the flower seed division of Syngenta for which Dümmen Orange showed interest a few of weeks ago.

Growing
Last April, DNA Green Group became Dümmen Orange. From that time, the names of breeding companies like Lex , Bartels, Terra Nigra, Dümmen Group, Agribio China, Agribio Colombia, Oro, and PLA, that were part of the former DNA Green Group, changed into Dümmen Orange. Other brands like Rijnplant, Ecke, Oglevee, Red Fox, Fides, Japan and Agribio Barberet & Blanc will be named Dümmen Orange soon. The final large acquisition was completed two months ago. Dümmen Orange bought Florexpo, a propagator of annuals and seasonal plants and herbs from Costa Rica.

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