Bioceres SA, inventor of a soybean resistant to drought, is poised to be the first Argentine initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange in 15 months after receiving local regulatory approval for the seed this week, according to people with knowledge of the plan.
Bioceres, an agriculture technology company based in Rosario, is to sell as many as US$80.5 million of shares as soon as a window of opportunity opens, two people said, asking not to be named as the plan is not public.
Bioceres received approval on Monday last week for its HB4 stress tolerance trait in soybean seeds from the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
Bioceres spokesman Geronimo Watson declined to comment on the IPO in an e-mailed statement, citing regulations from the US Securities and Exchange Commission and its Argentine counterpart, known as CNV.
Bioceres is targeting a commercial plan for the seeds for the 2016-2017 crop year that Argentine farmers start planting in October next year, the people said.
Sales proceeds would be used for working capital to have the seeds ready for sale and to develop distribution networks, they said.
Bioceres got the seed approval through Verdeca, a US joint venture with Davis, California-based Arcadia Biosciences Inc.
The drought-resistant seed was approved after six years of trials. The seed not only resisted drought, but it also improved yields by as much as 14 percent, according to the Argentine government.
Argentina is the world’s third-largest producer of soybeans after the US and Brazil. Soybean exports are the country’s largest income source of dollars, primarily because of China, whose global soybean imports have soared to 60 million tonnes in 2013 from 13 million tonnes in 2001.
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