BASF acquires innovative company Horta to strengthen its digital farming portfolio
- For over ten years, Horta has been supporting European farmers with highly innovative Decision Support Systems (DSS)
- The acquisition builds on a long-standing partnership between the two companies
- BASF continues to invest in digital services for sustainable agriculture, in line with the European Green Deal
Effective May 30, 2022 BASF acquired Horta S.r.l., an Italian company specialized in digital farming solutions. Founded in 2008 as a spin-off of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Horta is an established player for the development of highly innovative agronomic Decision Support Systems (DSS) for crops such as grapes, tomatoes, cereals and olives.
With the acquisition, which comes after a long-standing partnership between the two companies, Horta will continue to operate on the market with the current organization and management and its well-established brand in the agri-food market to ensure business continuity.
The agricultural sector increasingly relies on digital farming services, which optimize the use of production factors and enable sustainable and precision agriculture. With this transaction, BASF Agricultural Solutions confirms its commitment to expanding its portfolio, by investing in digital solutions that support the work of farmers and make agriculture more productive and environmentally friendly.
“We, at BASF, strongly believe that innovation and digitalization are the key factors to support sustainable yields and contribute to the targets of the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy”, said Gustavo Palerosi Carneiro, Senior Vice President, Agricultural Solutions EMEA & CIS. “BASF strives to leverage the growth potential and opportunities of digitalization toward the benefit of our customers. In this regard, Horta is complementary to our digital farming portfolio. I am therefore very pleased to welcome the entire Horta team, who brings along profound digital know-how and a very unique technological offer.”
As an Italian agro-tech leader in smart agri-food solutions, Horta is a prime example of transferring innovation from R&D and universities to agricultural practice.
“We are a highly innovative company, driven by constant and intense research. To support our business’s growth both in Italy and globally we needed a strong partner who shared our vision and had access to international markets”, commented Pierluigi Meriggi, President and Founding Partner of Horta. “Together with BASF, we pursue a consistent growth path for the next years.” Franco Anelli, Rector of the Catholic University underlined: "BASF's interest in Horta, one of our spin-off companies, is a significant recognition of the quality and the innovative nature of our research activities. It also confirms the scope of our researchers of the Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences Faculty to combine scientific expertise with a deep understanding of the needs of the agri-food value chain, and with the skills necessary to develop operational proposals. This embodies the sense of responsibility and care for the environment that inspires our Faculty. The partnership bears witness to the quality of our graduates and PhDs, whose skills and competencies have contributed to the development of Horta."
Innovation and research are key factors both for BASF's Agricultural Solutions division and Horta and they will be essential for any development project in Europe and globally. As confirmed by Alberto Ancora, Vice President Agricultural Solutions Sub-Region Europe South: “A drive towards innovation and a strong committment to sustainable farming have always been the hallmarks of our collaboration” - continues Ancora - “Today we are ready to steer a new phase and intesify our digital farming initiatives to support Horta’s advanced technlogical solutions into new markets.”
Both parties have agreed not to disclose the purches price.
To find out more about BASF’s digital farming offer, please visit our website Digital Farming (basf.com).
About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division
Farming is fundamental to provide enough healthy and affordable food for a rapidly growing population while reducing environmental impacts. Working with partners and agricultural experts and by integrating sustainability criteria into all business decisions, we help farmers to create a positive impact on sustainable agriculture. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline, connecting innovative thinking with practical action in the field. Our portfolio comprises seeds and specifically selected plant traits, chemical and biological crop protection, solutions for soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we strive to find the right balance for success – for farmers, agriculture and future generations. In 2021, our division generated sales of €8.2 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Around 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €78.6 billion in 2021. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.