Norwest Equity Partners sells agriculture company to BASF

  • Article by: THOMAS LEE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 28, 2012 - 8:49 AM

Since the Minneapolis-based private equity firm acquired Becker Underwood eight years ago, the company's sales and profits have soared about 400 percent.

Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) said Wednesday that it sold one of its portfolio companies to German chemical giant BASF.

Since first acquiring Becker Underwood Inc. in 2004, NEP said sales for the Iowa-based agriculture technology company have jumped four times to $246 million for the 12 month period ending Sept. 30. Profits also grew four fold.

The Minneapolis-based private equity firm, which did not disclose terms of the deal, also said Becker in that time acquired eight companies and doubled its global workforce.

"Becker Underwood's research efforts have helped create leading technology and products for growers around the world to use and succeed in the ever changing agriculture environment," Tim DeVries, NEP's managing general partner, said in a statement.

Thomas Lee • 612-673-4113

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