Valent Introduces Biorational Business Unit

Company brings increased focus on biorational products, support to customers

February 2, 2010

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.—Valent U.S.A. Corporation announced the formation of a new Biorational Business Unit—a team focused on delivering effective biorational crop protection and crop enhancement products to Valent customers.

Company officials said the dedicated biorational group is designed to meet increasing customer demand and to take advantage of corporate synergies as part of the Region Americas group of parent company Sumitomo Chemical Company, Limited (SCC).

“The creation of our Biorational Business Unit represents a dramatic new approach to how Valent serves its customers,” said Jim Blome, Valent executive vice president and chief operating officer. “SCC and Valent are uniquely positioned in this industry with a focus on both biorational and traditional products for sustainable agriculture. This focus ultimately means a more complete portfolio of products and support to meet our customers’ individual needs—be they traditional, biorational or a combination of both.”

Currently, Valent is the exclusive marketer in North America of all crop protection and crop enhancement products of Valent BioSciences Corporation (VBC), a fellow company within SCC and a global leader in biorational products. According to Eric Tamichi, the new manager of the Valent Biorational Business Unit, Valent will continue to provide VBC products to current customers, but with an even stronger focus and increased collaboration with VBC on support and new technologies.

“This new, focused business unit gives the Valent customer base access to VBC technology and technical support in a focused and streamlined way,” Tamichi said. “It’s great to be able to provide information and best practices to our customers based on VBC’s global footprint, and to best meet the needs of our customers.”

Valent will continue to market a number of VBC biorational products in the United States, including DiPel® and XenTari® Biological Insecticides, DiTera® Nematicide and ReTain®, ProGibb®, MaxCel®, ProVide®, Promalin®, Release® and RyzUp® Plant Growth Regulators, while planning for increased innovation and additional new products.

Strong portfolio, strong corporate direction
In addition to increased customer offerings and support, Blome said this reinforced focus on biorationals is a critical part of Valent’s growth path for the future.

“Sales of biorational products are projected to grow dramatically as retailer, food processor, consumer and grower demands for these types of products increase,” Blome said. “In fact, biopesticide growth is projected to increase from $594 million to $1.02 billion globally by 2015. Valent is poised to help grow the category in the United States, just as we are with our innovative portfolio of traditional chemistry for use in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs.”

Tamichi said that for the longer term, Valent “looks forward to marketing additional innovative VBC products for crop enhancement and biological control.”

Biorational leadership
The Biorational Business Unit will be under Tamichi’s day-to-day direction.

Tamichi was most recently the Canadian country manager of the company’s Valent Canada Crop and Professional Products operations, where he oversaw the launch of the overall business unit and several key products. He also has a 13-year history with Valent in a variety of research and business development leadership roles.

He will be joined in the Biorational Business Unit by biorational marketing and technical support people, working closely with VBC to manage current offerings and to bring future products to market. The team includes Steve Slaveck as market manager, Biorationals and Tino Lopez and James Wargo as commercial development representatives. Rob Fritts of VBC will serve as a technical development specialist, a role responsible for ensuring technology collaboration between the two companies. The Biorational group ultimately falls under the direction of Blome.

The new group also will work with existing Valent sales operations to provide biorational-specific information and assistance to Valent customers via their current sales representatives.

About Sumitomo Chemical Company, Limited
Sumitomo Chemical Company, Limited (TSE:4005) is one of Japan's leading chemical companies, offering a diverse range of products in the fields of basic chemicals, petrochemicals, fine chemicals, IT-related chemicals, agricultural chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. While expanding business worldwide and aggressively pursuing cutting-edge R&D, SCC continually strives to contribute to the sustainable development of society through Responsible Care activities. For more information, please visit www.sumitomo-chem.co.jp.

About Valent BioSciences Corporation
Valent BioSciences Corporation, headquartered in Libertyville, Illinois (USA), is a worldwide leader in the research, development and commercialization of low-risk, environmentally compatible technologies and products for the agricultural, public health, forestry and household insecticide markets. For more information, contact Valent BioSciences Corporation at 847-968-4793, or visit the company’s Web site, www.valentbiosciences.com.

About Valent U.S.A. Corporation
Valent U.S.A., headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, develops and markets products in the United States and Canada that protect agricultural crops, enhance crop yields, improve food quality, beautify the environment and safeguard public health. Valent U.S.A. products include a well-known line of quality herbicide, insecticide and fungicide products for agricultural, professional and consumer use. It differentiates itself from its competitors as a leader in marketing and sales of both biorational and traditional chemical products.