The British Columbia firm that engineered apples not to turn brown after they've been bruised or sliced has been bought by a U.S. company for $41 million.
Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. of Summerland, B.C., received approval just weeks ago from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to market its Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny Smith to growers south of the border.
The company's sale was announced Friday in a joint news release it issued with Intrexon Corporation, a publicly traded synthetic biology company headquartered in Germantown, Md.
The deal means 45 investors in Okanagan Specialty Fruits will share $31 million worth of Intrexon stock and $10 million in cash, and the company's founder and orchardist Neal Carter will remain on-board.
Okanagan Specialty Fruits currently has 20,000 small trees ready to be exported to the U.S..
Intrexon has synthetic biology, energy, health, livestock and aquaculture divisions.
"Joining forces with Intrexon and applying our combined technical know-how is an important step to introducing beneficial products for consumers and growers," says Carter in a media release.
"Okanagan is a world leader in the development of fruit-bearing plants to express enhanced, advantageous traits with tremendous potential to revolutionize the tree-fruit industry," says Thomas Kasser, the head of Intrexon's food sector.