June 27, 2024

Novo Holdings and DLG Group join forces to advance sustainable crop production

Novo Holdings and DLG Group today announced a strategic partnership to advance sustainable agriculture and food systems. The initial phase includes Novo Holdings acquiring 25% of the shares in Sejet Plant Breeding (Sejet), a leader in agricultural innovation owned by DLG Group.

Since 1947, Sejet has been a leading contributor to agricultural innovation, developing and delivering essential genetics of field crops such as wheat and barley that enable farmers to produce greater output with fewer resources. Sejet is one of Europe’s most advanced plant breeding companies and employs some of the most talented plant breeders in the region.

Utilising the newest breeding technologies, the mission of Sejet is to breed novel and improved crop varieties that adapts to current and future growing conditions. The goal is to create crop varieties that combine robustness with productivity, thereby reducing the CO2 footprint of the arable land. Plant breeding also plays a crucial role in enhancing disease resistance, improving nutrient and water efficiency, and increasing the quality of crops for both animal feed and human consumption.

The initial aim of the partnership between Novo Holdings and DLG Group is to scale up Sejet’s existing business and invest in new technologies that can accelerate crop variety development. Secondarily, the partnership aims to increase Sejet’s market share in Europe.

Plant breeding to support the green transition
On average, plant breeding enhances agricultural yields by about one percent annually*[1] and facilitates the development of future climate-resilient plants, capable of nourishing the world’s expanding population. New genomic techniques, such as CRISPR, can very effectively speed up the breeding process and enable the introduction of new traits beneficial for both cultivation, quality, and climate.

Plant breeding has become a significant topic on the political agenda and within the agribusiness, as it contributes to more sustainable crop production worldwide, ultimately supporting the green transition in the agricultural sector, and ensuring local food supply. The use of new genomic techniques is currently limited by EU regulations but we hope that a more innovation-friendly regulatory environment in Europe will be capable of embracing new discoveries.

Jesper Pagh, Group COO, DLG Group, said: “Joining forces with a world-leading life science investor such as Novo Holdings is a great opportunity and an important step for our company and farmer owners. We have a shared ambition of advancing sustainable agriculture and food systems to feed the growing population globally, while also considering biodiversity, people, and the planet. Inviting Novo Holdings into Sejet is an obvious first step in what we anticipate will become a successful and long-term partnership comprising complementary skills and a shared commitment to create a more sustainable future for agriculture.”

Aleks Engel, Partner, Planetary Health Investments, Novo Holdings, said: “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with DLG Group, a company that has been at the forefront of agricultural innovation for more than a century. Sejet’s proven track record of innovation and profitability, coupled with its robust customer contracts, aligns perfectly with our strategic goals. The anticipated deregulation in European plant breeding presents a unique opportunity to leverage Sejet’s expertise as an innovation platform. This partnership signifies our commitment to advancing agricultural technologies to feed the world sustainably.”

About Novo Holdings A/S
Novo Holdings is a holding and investment company that is responsible for managing the assets and the wealth of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The purpose of Novo Holdings is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet by generating attractive long-term returns on the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novo Holdings is the controlling shareholder of Novo Nordisk A/S and Novonesis A/S (Novozymes A/S) and manages an investment portfolio with a long-term return perspective. In addition to managing a broad portfolio of equities, bonds, real estate, infrastructure and private equity assets, Novo Holdings is a world-leading life sciences investor. Through its Seeds, Venture, Growth, Asia, Planetary Health Investments and Principal Investments teams, Novo Holdings invests in life science companies at all stages of development. As of year-end 2023, Novo Holdings had total assets of EUR 149 billion.

About the Novo Nordisk Foundation
Established in Denmark in 1924, the Novo Nordisk Foundation is an enterprise foundation with philanthropic objectives. The vision of the Foundation is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet. The Foundation’s mission is to progress research and innovation in the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic and infectious diseases as well as to advance knowledge and solutions to support a green transformation of society.

About DLG Group and Sejet           
DLG Group is a leading European company operating within Food, Energy and Housing, fulfilling some of the most basic needs of people and society. The company is cooperatively owned by 25,000 Danish farmers. Although our roots are Danish, we have a global outlook. From previously operating exclusively in Denmark, DLG Group has grown significantly over the past 20 years, with operations in 18 countries and sales to 70 countries across the world.

Driven by our desire to enable a better future for future generations, we develop and deliver solutions and products that can help our customers and owners transition to a greener future, while transforming our own operations.

Sejet is a company within the DLG Group. Since 1947, Sejet has developed new and improved crop varieties which are adapted to today’s requirements, to the benefit of agriculture and plant breeders. It is today one of Europe’s leading and most modern plant breeding companies with its own breeding program and a large representation program abroad.


Further information

Novo Holdings
Marie-Louise Jersin, Senior Communications Partner, 

DLG & Sejet
Jacob Jensen, Press Officer,