Monsanto Co. said Wednesday that it will buy the Climate Corp., a weather data firm, for $930 million in a bid to bolster its research and development efforts.
The St. Louis-based seed maker said the acquisition will allow the company to combine Climate Corp.'s expertise in risk analysis, hyper-local weather monitoring and agronomic data modeling with its efforts to make seeds and crops that can endure extreme weather patterns.
"The Climate Corporation is focused on unlocking new value for the farm through data science,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto's chief executive. “Everyone benefits when farmers are able to produce more with fewer resources."
Monsanto and other seed makers have worked for years to bring to market new seeds that better tolerate drought and other weather events. Monsanto last year was the first seed company to test a line of corn with a genetically engineered trait for drought tolerance. Other seed makers, such as rival Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., are developing similar seeds.
The Climate Corp. is a San Francisco-based company founded in 2006 by former Google software engineers and data scientists from other Silicon Valley tech firms.
Monsanto on Wednesday also reported a loss of $249 million, or 47 cents a share, for the quarter that ended Aug. 31. That's compared to a loss of $229 million during the same period a year earlier.
The company predicted per-share earnings of between $5 and $5.20 for the new fiscal year.