Life Sciences and Energy

Leading European agricultural co-op group acquires stake in Life Scientific

By Business & Finance
14 November 2014
Nicola Mitchell, founder and CEO, Life Scientific.
Pictured at NovaUCD, is Nicola Mitchell, founder and CEO, Life Scientific.

InVivo, the largest agricultural co-operative group in France, and a leading player in the industry globally, with revenues of €5.7bn, has acquired a 50% stake in Life Scientific, an Irish R&D company which specialises in off-patent crop protection products.

InVivo, which employs 6,600 people in 20 countries, is a union of over 220 farming co-operatives and has combined membership of over 300,000 farmers.

The remit of InVivo is to work together with its member co-operatives to develop sustainable and profitable solutions enabling farmers to secure their production and revenue.

Life Scientific was established by Nicola Mitchell in 1995, and is currently headquartered at NovaUCD. The company, which has well established links with UCD and with Enterprise Ireland over many years, currently employs 20 people (mainly scientists, and including eight PhDs) and has an annual turnover of over €10m.
Laurent Martel, director of InVivo’s Agriculture Division, has been appointed chairman of Life Scientific while Nicola Mitchell retains her position as CEO of Life Scientific.

One of the main priorities in InVivo’s crop protection policy is the implementation of innovations from crop protection companies through on-the-ground support in the marketing of its specialty products.  InVivo is also seeking to maintain on the market off-patent products essential to the development of crop protection programmes. This range of solutions will in the future be extended to include biocontrol products.

Laurent Martel, director of InVivo Agriculture Division and chairman of Life Scientific, said: “Our aim is to form upstream partnerships with suppliers able to meet our specifications, with a view to marketing selected post-patent products. Our acquisition of a stake in Life Scientific, approved unanimously by our Board of Directors, is part of that strategy.”

Nicola Mitchell, CEO of Life Scientific, welcoming the partnership said: “The transaction concluded with InVivo will allow us to scale our proven business model, both in France and globally. It will strengthen our engagement with our customers, the InVivo cooperative members, and is a major endorsement of Life Scientific’s continued capacity to innovate on a global scale.”

The move is fully in line with the ‘2025 by InVivo’ strategy and in particular with InVivo Agro’s strategy of forming strategic alliances to invest in innovation and bring the Union’s cooperatives and their members a broader range of sustainable and profitable solutions.