The first step in the French seed company Groupe LimagrainHoldings S.A.'s acquisition of BioTechnica International Inc. isnow complete.

BioTechnica of Overland Park, Kan., announced Friday that ithas secured a new $15 million line of credit with Harris Trustand Savings Bank and, in exchange, has issued to LimagrainGenetics Corp. 500,000 shares of BioTechnica common stock(NASDAQ:BIOT).

In connection with the transaction, which was completed Oct.26, Limagrain's Jean Christophe Gouache has becomeBioTechnica's chief operating officer and George Allbritten itschief financial officer.

The second step of the transaction, which should be completedin December following approval of the deal by BioTechnicastockholders at the company's annual meeting, involves themerging of BioTechnica with Limagrain's Shissler Seed Co. inElmwood, Ill.

BioTechnica will then issue to Limagrain Genetics an additional46.5 million shares of its common stock in exchange for thetransfer to BioTechnica of all Shissler's outstanding stock. Theoverall transaction will effectively combine the U.S. farm seedoperations of both companies and will also give Limagrain a 67percent equity interest in BioTechnica.

BioTechnica's business is currently dedicated principally to theproduction and marketing of seed products through itscommercial subsidiaries.

In 1991, the company sold its Plant Science Research Inc.subsidiary, which was developing genetically engineered cornand soybeans, to DeKalb Genetics Corp. In a separate deal,BioTechnica sold its medical business to a management group.

BioTechnica's stock closed unchanged on Friday at $1.63 ashare.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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