Ecogen Inc. said it has signed an agreement in principle toacquire Scentry Inc. for $5.5 million, consisting of a $2 millioncash payment plus shares of Ecogen common stock valued atmarket.

Ecogen, a biopesticide company located in Langhorne, Pa., willgain worldwide rights to Scentry's technology based onpheromones, the chemical scents emitted by insects. Scentryhad sales of $3 million of pheromone-based biopesticides andproducts that assist in crop pollination during its fiscal yearending Feb. 29. Ecogen estimates the worldwide market forpheromone products at $60 million.

The Billings, Mont., company is a wholly owned subsidiary ofUnited Agri Products Inc. (UAP), which is owned by ConAgraInc. Closing of the acquisition depends on completion of adistribution agreement under which UAP would purchaseScentry products from Ecogen over a three-year period. Ecogenstock (NASDAQ:EECN) closed at $8.63, up 25 cents.

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