Certis USA News Release Archive

Certis USA Completes Acquisition of Certain Ecogen, Inc. Assets

COLUMBIA, MD, July 19, 2002 – Management of Certis U.S.A. L.L.C., a subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., announce that it has completed the purchase of certain assets of the Bt biopesticide and insecticidal nematode businesses owned by Ecogen, Inc. of Langhorne, PA.

Certis USA already has shipped initial quantities of newly manufactured product under a business transition agreement signed with Ecogen in May. Separately, Certis USA has immediately begun to apply its formulation expertise to the potent Bt strains used in the CryMax® and Lepinox® bioinsecticides that it has acquired from Ecogen. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticides are the most widely used biological pesticides and are of low risk to humans, wildlife and the environment. They are used to control Lepidopteran (caterpillar) pests, which are the primary insect threats to crop production, and mosquitoes, a threat to public health.

Certis USA President and CEO Dennis Banasiak said, "This is an extremely important acquisition for Certis USA. Ecogen owned some of the industryÍs most potent strains of Bt bioinsecticides. At the same time, Certis USA has proprietary formulation technology which combined with the Ecogen strains will result in powerfully upgraded and wholly new Bt products. That is our core skill at Certis USA bringing additional value to the nationÍs farmers who raise crops under Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices."

In addition to the biological insecticides, Certis USA also purchased Ecogen's rights in Bt strain libraries for use for microbial applications, and its related product registrations, trademarks, patents or licenses.

Certis USA Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Tim Damico said, "With the close of the transaction, our primary concern is for our customers and the growers they serve. Virtually everyone in Certis USA has been involved in ramping up our manufacturing, research and development, and customer support to prepare for these new products. We began shipping product this month and are preparing to fill the product pipeline for the remainder of the year."

Banasiak said, "The timing for this acquisition is appropriate. The Bt organism was first discovered in 1901, and the use of Bt as a biopesticide goes back 75 years. Bts are among our oldest, most trusted and proven pesticides. They remained on the market, because new technologies have allowed them to continually improve.

"As Bt passes the century mark, Certis USA is committed to apply the technology needed to set the stage for another 100 years of Bt use," Banasiak said.

Certis USA was established by Mitsui in April 2001. Its products were previously sold under the name of Thermo Trilogy Corporation.

Mitsui & Co., Japan's largest trading company, markets and distributes crop protection products and services directly and through its Certis marketing subsidiaries in Europe, Japan, Africa and the U.S. Global crop protection sales exceed $400 million annually.

Headquartered in Columbia, MD, Certis USA manuf actures environmentally friendly crop protection products for vegetable, tree fruit, nut, grape, citrus and mushroom crops grown both conventionally and organically. Certis USA product brands include: Agree®, Condor®, CryMax®, Deliver®, Javelin®, Lepinox®, Raven® bioinsecticides; Azatin® and Neemix® botanical insect growth regulators; Trilogy® botanical fungicide/miticide; BioVector® insecticidal nematode, and GemStar® and Spod-X® insecticidal virus products.

Media Contact:

Felicia Gillham

Gillham & Associates
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Bonita, CA 91902 (San Diego)

fgillham@cox.net

Phone: 619-482-8820 (Pacific Standard Time)
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Fax: 619-482-8825

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