Norwest Equity Partners Completes Sale of Becker Underwood to BASF for $1.02 Billion

  Norwest Equity Partners Completes Sale of Becker Underwood to BASF for $1.02

Agricultural Product Leader Expands Globally and Significantly Grows Revenue
during NEP Ownership

Business Wire

MINNEAPOLIS -- November 28, 2012

Norwest Equity Partners (“NEP”), a leading middle market investment firm, has
completed the sale of Becker Underwood Inc. (or the “Company”) to BASF, the
world’s leading chemical company, headquartered in Germany. Becker Underwood
is one of the leading global providers of technologies for biological seed
treatment and seed treatment pigments and polymers. The Company also has an
extended product portfolio in the areas of biological crop protection, turf
and horticulture, animal nutrition and landscape colorants and coatings. The
transaction, initially announced on September 20, 2012, closed on November 21,

Over the course of its eight-year investment period with Becker Underwood, NEP
worked closely with Dr. Peter Innes, Becker Underwood CEO, and the management
team to grow the Company into a global leader with a local presence. Becker
Underwood sells products into more than 70 countries from 12 locations in nine
countries on five continents. Since NEP’s 2004 investment, Becker Underwood
has increased revenue and profitability four-fold, completed eight strategic
add-on acquisitions, and doubled its number of employees across the world.
Becker Underwood reported revenue of $246 million for the twelve month period
ending September 30, 2012.

Tim DeVries, NEP Managing General Partner, stated, “Becker Underwood has done
a tremendous job positioning itself as a value-added leader within the
agricultural sector. This has been achieved through strong leadership, a lot
of hard work, and close collaboration with growers, distributors and leading
seed and crop-protection companies. With the world’s continual rising crop
demands, growers seek sustainable tools and technologies that will help them
maximize their yields. Becker Underwood’s R&D efforts have helped create
leading technology and products for growers around the world to use and
succeed in the ever-changing agriculture environment.”

Dr. Innes stated, “From guidance on both organic and acquisitive growth
strategies, operational insights, and the commitment of capital and global
resources, NEP helped build us into a global leader and provider of
innovative, biological solutions for a wide array of crops across multiple
geographies. The firm has been instrumental to our success and helped position
us for our successful sale to BASF. We tremendously value our partnership with
NEP, and look forward to our next chapter as part of BASF.”

A majority of Becker Underwood’s business lines will join the
newly-established global business management unit, Functional Crop Care, as
part of BASF’s Crop Protection division. Within this new unit, BASF will merge
its existing research, development and marketing activities in the areas of
seed treatment, biological crop protection, plant health, as well as water and
resource management with those of Becker Underwood. Becker Underwood’s animal
nutrition business will be integrated into BASF’s Nutrition & Health division.

Headquartered in Ames, Iowa, Becker Underwood was founded 30 years ago in
1982. For more information, please visit

Greenhill & Co. served as financial advisor to Becker Underwood on this


Norwest Equity Partners
Heather Goodwin, 612-215-1676
Director of Marketing
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