I just saw this article and can't help but feel the chemtrail/GMO crowd will go crazy with this one. It combines both the ultimate evil corporation with a company centered around the "fabled" issue of climate change. I figured a thread about it would be appropriate to collect thoughts and/or debunkings of the inevitable claims about the subject as more news comes out.
Edit: I just realized that maybe I can't see the forest from the trees here - the links to geoengineering/"chemtrails" may be tenuous at best. Maybe this will be better off in Conspiracy Theories? I'm all for this thread being moved if it fits better elsewhere.
Good morning everyone. Today’s big acquisition, a huge agritech exit: Bio tech company Monsanto has bought Climate Corporation for approximately $1.1 billion. While the Monsanto press release says $930 million, we’re hearing from investors that the actual price is past the $1 billion mark because part of the all-cash deal is paid out over time as a retention plan.
This is a pretty cunning move. It comes on the same day that Monsanto — the world’s largest argibusiness company — reported a larger-than-expected, increased 4th quarter loss, of $249 million, or $0.47 per share.
Monsanto is positioning this acquisition as part of a longer-term recovery plan, and a tip of the hat to bigger issues around ecology: Climate Corporation’s technology to monitor and track climate change helping Monsanto manage future risk better. Monsanto has weathered (pun intended) a lot of bad PR over the years around issues like genetic modification and the general trammelling of smaller agricultural enterprises, so it will be interesting to see how Climate Corporation fits into that mix.
Below is my invite to the media call at 8am, and here is a link to the press release on the Monsanto home page.
Monsanto just announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Climate Corporation for $930M. The full press release and supporting information is available on http://www.monsanto.com.
The acquisition will combine The Climate Corporation’s expertise in agriculture analytics and risk-management with Monsanto’s R&D capabilities, and will provide farmers access to more information about the many factors that affect the success of their crops.
We would like to invite you to join us later this morning for a call related to today’s announcement. We’ll use this call to provide details about the announcement and then have an opportunity to take some of your questions.
David Friedberg, chief executive officer of The Climate Corporation and Monsanto’s executive vice president of global strategy, Kerry Preete will provide an overview of the announcement.
Climate Corporation is backed by Founders Fund, Khosla, Google Ventures, NEA, Index Ventures and Atomico. The company uses machine learning in order to predict the weather and other essential elements for agribusiness.
Monsanto focuses on providing seeds, biotechnology traits and crop production products for farmers around the world. The acquired company will continue to operate as the Climate Corporation, and Monsanto will leverage its big data expertise to optimize farming globally.
The COO of Climate Corporation Greg Smirin tells me that the acquisition is an ideal fit for both companies: “As we all know, the weather is becoming more extreme. We found that we had kindred spirits with the folks at Monsanto. The data science that we have developed can be applied to improve seed production immensely.”
Climate Corporation CEO David Friedberg comes from an interesting tech background. He is an ex-Googler, where he served as one of its first corporate development execs. (One of the deals he tried to do while there was to convince Google to buy Skype, according to Index’s Neil Rimer, who wrote the first VC check for Climate Corp., a $300,000 seed round. Obviously that deal never happened, but he ushered in a number of other biggies for Google nevertheless.)