Abbott Laboratories in Abbott Park, IL, announced an agreement to sell its agricultural products business to Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., of Tokyo, Japan.
Sumitomo will acquire research and development, sales, marketing, and support operations for Abbott's entire line of naturally occurring biopesticides, plant growth regulators, and other products.
Abbott retained bulk active-ingredient manufacturing rights. The sale is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approval expected to be completed by January.
Abbott, a diversified health care company with products in many markets, had net earnings of $2.3 billion last year.
Abbott manufactures gibberellic acid, used on potatoes as a plant growth regulator.