Crop Genetics International Corp. said yesterday that it plans to raise about $20 million in a stock offering to renovate a building that will become its research laboratories and manufacturing facility.
The Hanover-based company, which develops ways to protect crops from pests, insects and weeds, expects to offer 3.5 million common shares to the public to raise the funds within the next six weeks, Chief Executive Joseph W. Kelly said.
Under an agreement with Du Pont Co., Crop Genetics will manufacture natural viruses that could gain widespread use by replacing pesticides made of synthetic chemicals, which pose a risk of water and soil pollution. The company has designed techniques for purifying the viruses, which it says pose no risk to the environment or to people.
Du Pont has agreed to pump $3.75 million into the company over the next two years to conduct research, testing, distribution and marketing of the products. The company expects its first product to be a biopesticide that can be used on fruits and vegetables.
Crop Genetics has registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the offering through Alex. Brown & Sons Inc., which has the option of increasing the number of shares by 15 percent. Crop Genetics, which is listed on NASDAQ, closed yesterday at $5.75 a share.