The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG), announced that it has received a binding offer from ICL (TASE: ICL) to acquire the shares and substantially all the assets of ScottsMiracle-Gro’s Global Professional business for $270 million (US), subject to certain adjustments at closing, in an all-cash transaction.


“Today’s announcement is another step in our strategy to become a more focused consumer business,” said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and chief executive officer, ScottsMiracle-Gro. “Over the past two years, we have evolved our business portfolio to better leverage growth opportunities within our Global Consumer segment, allowing us to better drive shareholder value.


“While we are proud of the efforts that our Global Professional team has put forward over the years, we believe their ability to continue driving growth will be enhanced by being part of ICL, which has articulated a clear vision to invest in this business and support its growth.”


The Global Professional business markets professional products to commercial nurseries and greenhouses for ornamental horticulture; sports fields, golf courses and public parks for professional turf applications; and specialty agriculture in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. The U.S. professional seed business is not included in this offer.


The proposed sale is expected to close in the Company’s second quarter of fiscal 2011, subject to regulatory review and the satisfaction of certain conditions, including works council and employee consultation. The Company intends to apply net proceeds of the sale toward capital investments and debt retirement.


“We are pleased to find a buyer that values Global Professional’s market leadership position, talented people, respected brands and positive customer relationships,” Hagedorn, added. “ICL has extensive experience in global markets, is a leader in the global fertilizer industry and is committed to achieving business success. These attributes give us confidence that Global Professional will be a good fit with ICL.”


Akiva Mozes, ICL’s president and CEO, commented, “We are very excited about the potential of combining our two companies’ specialty fertilizers and horticultural/turf inputs businesses, thereby forming a strong basis for the strategic expansion that we have planned for this area. By combining Global Professional’s branded products, experienced global sales and marketing organization and significant R&D capabilities with our own leading products and superior access to raw materials, we believe that we will be able to create a specialty fertilizers and horticultural/turf inputs powerhouse positioned for accelerated growth in a growing marketplace.”


Both companies said they will have teams in place to ensure a smooth transition for associates, customers and suppliers. “We believe this proposed transaction will be positive for all of Global Professional’s stakeholders, and we are dedicated to supporting the seamless transfer of the business to ICL,” Hagedorn added.