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Deal 5: Yara Legal Counsel Sverre Hodnebo on Sale of Yara Bulgaria and Yara Digital Romania to Nik Group

Deal 5: Yara Legal Counsel Sverre Hodnebo on Sale of Yara Bulgaria and Yara Digital Romania to Nik Group

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On August 30, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that Boyanov & Co had advised Yara International on the sale of Bulgarian and Romanian businesses Yara Bulgaria and Yara Digital Romania to the Nik Group. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Sverre Hodnebo, Legal Counsel at Yara International, to learn more about the sale.

CEEIHM: To start, tell us a bit about Yara International and its (now former) businesses in Bulgaria and Romania. 

Hodnebo: Yara is the world’s leading crop nutrition company, and as a provider of environmental and agricultural solutions we address global challenges and create positive change.

In addition to producing and distributing crop nutrition solutions, Yara has been focusing on so-called “digital farming solutions” for quite some time now. Our tools, services, and solutions are built on a combination of technology (hardware and software) and agronomic knowledge. Their purpose is to collect and interpret data and to give the best recommendations possible to farmers (or other stakeholders), in terms of water, soil, and nutrition management. These tools and services improve our overall crop nutrition solutions by supporting farmers with in-time and precise application.

The business that was sold in Bulgaria and Romania was a digital farming solution called AgroOffice. AgroOffice is a multi-functional farm management software for agriculture that enables farmers to optimize and automate every aspect of their work processes. 

CEEIHM: What prompted the sale of the two?

Hodnebo: Yara opted to sell AgroOffice as it no longer was a good fit within the portfolio of digital farming solutions it wanted to maintain and offer.

CEEIHM: And what do you believe made the targets particularly attractive to the buyer?

Hodnebo: AgroOffice was attractive to the buyer as it included a feature with detailed maps and a good overview of various smaller areas of farmland, which I understand is particular to Bulgaria. Also, the large customer base was probably interesting.

CEEIHM: How was the legal work split between your in-house legal team and that of your legal advisors?

Hodnebo: For this project, Boyanov did all of the heavy lifting, with me facilitating internal commercial feedback and providing general legal input.

CEEIHM: And why did you pick Boyanov & Co. to assist you on this deal?

Hodnebo: Boyanov has been assisting Yara for many years, and actually helped us purchase AgroOffice back in 2016. I have been particularly impressed (and assisted) by their hard and fast work, commercial understanding, and pragmatic approach to problem-solving. Highly recommended!

Originally reported by CEE In-House Matters.

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