Petoseed Co., a Saticoy-based producer of hybrid vegetable seeds, has formed a European unit that will aggressively seek new business in Northern and Eastern Europe.
The unit, Peto Europe, will control two recent acquisitions--a German seed company named Peto Deutschland and Bad Doberan, a former East German breeding station on the Baltic coast. Both were acquired in late 1991.
David Atkinson, Petoseed's vice president for marketing, said the European operation, based near Amsterdam, Netherlands, augments similar units in North and South America. "We're decentralizing throughout the world, with an emphasis right now on Europe," he said. "Eventually, we plan a similar strategy in Asia."
Petoseed, a subsidiary of Ball Seed Co. of Chicago, has 500 employees worldwide, about half of them in Saticoy. Ball, which is privately held, does not break out Petoseed's sales figures.
However, Atkinson said Petoseed is one of the world's five largest producers and marketers of hybrid vegetable seeds. "The market for the seeds is huge because they provide farmers with improved yields and with crops that have strengthened resistance to disease, reducing the need for pesticides," he said.