French seed company Groupe Limagrain, the third-largest seedcompany in the world, is purchasing approximately 67 percentequity interest in Biotechnica International Inc.

In exchange, Biotechnica will receive a new $15 million bankline of credit and Limagrain's Shissler Seed Co. in Elmwood, Ill.

The agreement in principal, announced on Monday, is subject tofinal agreement "and certain other conditions," BioTechnicasaid. The company noted that the new financing is expected tobe implemented within the next two weeks, and at that time"Limagrain designees would begin to play an executive role atBioTechnica."

The second step of the alliance, the merging of BioTechnica andShissler, would be completed until December, followingapproval of the deal by BioTechnica stockholders at theirannual meeting.

Commenting on the deal, BioTechnica's president and chiefexecutive officer, Charles Baker, said: "The disastrous weatherconditions through the spring and summer in the Midwest havehad an unexpected negative impact on the operations andresults of most agriculture companies, including BioTechnica.Reduced sales and increased seed returns, along with certainaccounting adjustments that will have to be taken as a result ofthe Limagrain transaction, will negatively impact thecompany's operating results, resulting in a projected loss forfiscal year 1993."

BioTechnica of Overland Park, Kan., is now dedicatedprincipally to the production and marketing of seed productsthrough its commercial subsidiaries. In 1991, the company soldits Plant Science Research Inc. subsidiary, which wasdeveloping genetically engineered corn and soybeans, to DeKalbGenetics Corp. and, in a separate deal, sold its medical businessto a management group.

BioTechnica's stock closed at $1.63 a share on Monday, down13 cents.

-- Brenda Sandburg News Editor

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