Dow to sell AgroFresh for $860M in asset-sale drive

(Scott Bauer photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Reuters — Dow Chemical said it would sell its AgroFresh unit, which makes chemicals that keep farm produce fresh, for US$860 million as part of a plan to divest less-lucrative units.

The company said it was selling the business to Boulevard Acquisition Corp., a blank-check company formed by investment firm Avenue Capital Group.

Philadelphia-based AgroFresh would become a subsidiary of Boulevard, a stand-alone public company in which Dow would keep a minority stake.

AgroFresh’s specialty chemical products help to maintain firmness, texture and appearance of fruits during storage and transport. Its main product, the SmartFresh Quality System, is commercialized in 45 countries.

AgroFresh, whose markets include Canada, “is focused on the post-harvest market segment, which is not aligned to the rest of the Dow AgroSciences portfolio,” Howard Ungerleider, Dow’s chief financial officer, said in a release.

“The retention of a minority interest in AgroFresh, however, allows Dow to participate in the growth prospects of the business while unlocking a majority share of value for our shareholders.”

Reporting for Reuters by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore. Includes files from Network staff.

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