Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) recently announced the formation of American Seeds, Inc. (ASI), a new holding company established to support regional seed businesses with capital, genetics and technology investments. These investments will allow the operating companies of ASI to more directly connect their customers to significant innovations in genomics-based breeding and other new technologies while continuing to operate autonomously and locally, providing great service to their customers and building the value of their brands.

“The pace of technological innovation has changed the seed industry and it's clear in conversations with some of our seed-company customers that the needs for capital and technology for growth have accelerated,” said Carl Casale, executive vice president for Monsanto.

“In recognizing these needs, we developed ASI as a vehicle to allow regional seed companies to gain faster and better access to capital, genetics and technology while preserving the brands and approaches that their customers know and trust.”

ASI is a wholly owned subsidiary, reporting into Monsanto's U.S. Crop Production business along with the company's existing branded and licensing businesses.

“Within our U.S. business we now have three approaches to the market, each serving unique customers in unique ways,” said Kerry Preete, vice president of U.S. Crop Production for Monsanto. “With ASI providing a strong complement to our existing brands and our licensing approach, these three channels are providing farmers more choices for the newest technology in the distribution channels they rely on.”

“We are very pleased to have Channel as an operating subsidiary of ASI,” said Casale. “Channel's management team is highly regarded in the industry — they run one of the most respected, progressive seed companies in the country.

“We view Channel as a cornerstone investment that will give us more opportunity for growth, accelerating the delivery of important technology advances to customers through the terrific relationships, local brands and quality service for which Channel and its management team are known.”