Big deal for daisies
Japanese buyer snaps up grower
JAPANESE company Sumitomo Chemical has paid $133 million for the Tasmanian insecticide producer Botanical Resources Australia.
The Ulverstone-based company was founded in 1996 when businessman Ian Folder led a management buyout of CIG’s pyrethrum assets.
Sumitomo Chemical will own all the shares in BRA after the transfer of about 80 per cent of the company’s shares.
BRA makes pyrethrins, a natural insecticide extract found in the flowerheads of pyrethrum daisies.
Pyrethrins act on the nervous systems of pests such as mosquitoes and ticks.
Despite killing insects, pyr- ethrins are not toxic to people or animals and the insecticide breaks down in sunlight.
As well as processing the crop, BRA also owns farms that grow pyrethrums in Tasmania.
The Japanese company has been reported as expanding into environmentally friendly agrochemicals.
Sumitomo products are in use in 80 countries for protecting people from malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
Japanese reports suggest that the buyout will give Sumitomo Chemical full control of a production chain stretching from the pyrethrins to finished products.
It is understood the future Japanese parent will seek to improve on pyrethrum cultivation techniques and explore broader uses for pyrethrins.
Tasmania is the world’s largest producer of pyrethhrins, supplying 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the global market. Last harvest season there were more than 100 growers across 1500ha in the state.
In January BRA received $25,000 towards a $500,000 capital upgrade from the State Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Transition fund.