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Monument Circle Acquisition Corp   (MON)
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Monument Circle Acquisition Corp

Business Description


Monsanto Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a global provider of agricultural products and integrated solutions for farmers. We produce leading seed brands, including DEKALB and Asgrow, and we develop biotechnology traits that assist farmers in controlling insects and weeds. We provide other seed companies with genetic material and biotechnology traits for their seed brands. We also make Roundup herbicide and other herbicides. Our seeds, related biotechnology trait products and herbicides can be combined to provide growers with integrated solutions that improve productivity and reduce the costs of farming. We also provide lawn-and-garden herbicide products for the residential market and animal agricultural products focused on improving dairy cow productivity and swine genetics.

CUSTOMERS; DISTRIBUTION OF PRODUCTS

We have a worldwide distribution and sales and marketing organization that consolidates the sales forces of our seeds and traits and crop protection operations.

We license a broad package of our germplasm and trait technologies to seed companies that do business in the United States and certain international markets. The seed companies pay a royalty to Monsanto for the germplasm or traits and then market these products to growers. We also market our branded germplasm and traits to growers through distributors, independent retailers and dealers, agricultural cooperatives and agents. In most cases, growers are required to sign a technology agreement that acknowledges our patents, grants limited patent licenses, and requires appropriate product stewardship. In certain circumstances, depending on the type of trait and the geographic location, trait license agreements may also require royalty payments or trait fees from growers.

We sell our crop protection products through distributors, independent retailers and dealers, agricultural cooperatives, and, in some cases outside the United States, through joint ventures or directly to growers. We also sell our crop protection products to other major agricultural chemical producers.

We sell and ship our Posilac bovine somatotropin directly to dairy farmers in the United States. Outside of the United States, we rely on a single exclusive distributor for these products. We deliver our swine genetics products directly to swine producers, who pay for the use of the genetics in upfront fees and/or royalties.

COMPETITION

The global markets for our products are highly competitive. We expect competition to intensify as a result of continuing industry consolidation, the expiration of our patent for glyphosate herbicide in the United States in 2002, and continued expenditures by our competitors on the development and commercialization of new technologies and products, including biotechnology traits.

There are relatively few global competitors for our seed business; however, we compete with hundreds of local and regional companies, to many of which we supply base germplasm and/or access to our biotechnology traits. In certain countries we also compete with government-owned seed companies, and may also compete with growers who use seed saved from one year to the next. Product performance (in particular, crop yield), customer service, intellectual property and price are important determinants of market success. In addition, strong distributor and grower relationships have been important in the United States and many other countries.

Our traits compete directly with agricultural chemicals as well as with traits developed by other companies. Other agrichemical and seed marketers produce chemical and seed products that compete with our Roundup Ready and insect-protected systems. Competition for the discovery of new agricultural traits based on biotechnology and/or genomics is likely to come from major global agrichemical companies. Enabling technologies may also come from academic researchers and a wide array of biotechnology research companies. The primary factors underlying the competitive success of traits are performance and commercial viability, timeliness of introduction, value, governmental approvals, public acceptance, and environmental characteristics.

Competitive success in crop protection products depends on price, product performance, the quality of solutions offered to growers, market coverage, and the quality of service to distributors and growers. We have between five and 10 major global competitors for our agricultural herbicide products. Competition from local or regional companies may also be significant. For




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