Technico Pty. Ltd., which developed the Technituber rapid-seed production system, has sold a controlling interest to its Delhi, India-based joint venture partner Chambal Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd. of India.
Managing director David McDonald said Chambal has paid A$18.5 million for the 51 percent interest. Chambal, previously unrepresented on Technico’s board, gets three seats and will appoint the independent member on the new seven-member board.
Industry players said Technico needed the cash infusion because although it had been very good at research and development, it had not done well with the commercialization of its technology.
McDonald said Chambal was a long-term strategic investor. Previous investors had been venture capitalists.
Chambal Executive Vice Chairman H.S. Bawa said the move reflected Chambal’s desire to become more active in agri-inputs and agri-biotech areas.
“We have worked closely with the technology and the Technico management team for the last five years in India. We believe there is a great future for the business in India and China where food consumption habits are changing and potato-based products are in greater demand,” Bawa said.
“Technico’s ability to produce affordable seed potatoes in two-to-three years, has a significant advantage over traditional systems which can take between five-and-eight years. During this longer period they are exposed to severe disease pressure,” McDonald said.