May 15, 2009
A Busy Week at BallSource: Ball Horticultural Company

Consolidation is a big business trend in the horticultural industry, and no one seems to understand that better than Ball Horticultural Company. Last week, the company made two big announcements on this front.

First, the company revealed it had purchased of a majority share of Kieft Seeds Holland (Kieft Pro Seeds), based in the Netherlands.

Ball plans to combine activities of Kieft into the efforts that support PanAmerican Seed. Kieft’s Netherlands location will be maintained along with the activities of breeding, seed technology and production as performed there today.

“The addition of the Kieft product line will be complementary to the products in our PanAmerican Seed brand,” said Ball CEO Anna Ball. “We view their line of specialty annual and, particularly, perennial products as fitting very well with our product development strategies.”

Kieft products will continue to be marketed through all distribution companies worldwide, and Cees van Diepen, the former majority owner of Kieft, will remain involved for the foreseeable future, managing the Venhuizen, the Netherlands, facility and providing product development support for selected breeding programs.

Also announced were discussions among Ball, Florensis and Graines Voltz to combine forces in the European market.

The three entities plan to combine operations and activities in several key European countries. This alignment is designed to further strengthen market presence and provide a more robust solution for their customers. Ramifications of the partnership would include the following:

  • In Germany and the Netherlands, Dutch-based Florensis will take over the offices and activities of Ball Holland and Ball Deutschland and merge them into the Florensis entities in these two countries. In addition, Ball would acquire a minority equity participation in the Florensis continental operations.
  • In the United Kingdom, Florensis UK would become a joint venture between Ball and Florensis. Ball Colegrave and Florensis UK would continue to operate under their own names and be managed locally.
  • In France, Graines Voltz, the exclusive distributor of Florensis, would acquire Ball Ducrettet.

“The combined activities of these three family-owned companies would create the best use of assets and capabilities,” said Florensis CEO Herman Hamer. For more information on these plans, visit

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