Escagenetics Corp. of San Carlos, Calif., and Pioneer Hi-BredInternational of Des Moines, Iowa, said Thursday thatEscagenetics will buy Pioneer's share of True Potato SeedProducts Co., the two companies' potato seed joint venture, alsoof San Carlos. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Pioneer (NASDAQ:PHYB) sold its share because it is shiftingfocus away from commodity crops, said company spokesmanScott Erickson. The company will concentrate instead onmelons, squash, peppers, tomatoes and onions.

William J. Koenig, vice president of finance at Escagenetics(NASDAQ:ESN), said the original joint venture agreement calledfor each company to invest $5 million over the course of theventure. When the venture was launched in April 1988, eachcompany put in $2 million.

Escagenetics is looking into alternative means of financing itspotato seed venture. The company sells potato seed only inEgypt, but won't sell substantial quantities of the seedthroughout the world until 1992. The world market for potatotubers is approximately $8 billion to $9 billion annually, Koenigsaid.

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