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ECOGEN TO ACQUIRE SCENTRY; COMPANY TO GAIN LINE OF PHEROMONE-BASED AGRICULTURAL PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS

 ECOGEN TO ACQUIRE SCENTRY; COMPANY TO GAIN LINE OF PHEROMONE-BASED
 AGRICULTURAL PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS
 LANGHORNE, Pa., April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecogen Inc. (NASDAQ: EECN) today announced that it has signed an agreement in principle to acquire Scentry, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of United Agri Products (UAP), Inc. which is owned by ConAgra, Inc. (NYSE: CAG). Ecogen will pay approximately $5.5 million for the assets. Payment will be composed of $2 million in cash plus shares of Ecogen common stock valued at market.
 The closing of the transaction is conditioned upon the negotiation and signing of definitive agreements, including a three-year distribution agreement with UAP providing for UAP's commitment to purchase Scentry products from Ecogen for three years after the closing of the transaction.
 Under the agreement, Ecogen gains rights to Scentry's agricultural pest control products based on pheromone technology. Pheromones are natural odors, undetectable to humans, that are emitted by insects. These insect pheromones have broad applications in pest control. For example, pheromones can be used to control insect populations by disrupting the mating process. Pheromones can also be used in conjunction with pesticides to more effectively reduce insect infestation. In addition, pheromones can assist in the pollination process by attracting bees to crops. Scentry, which is profitable, had sales of approximately $3 million for these types of products during its fiscal year ended Feb. 29, 1992. The estimated worldwide market for pheromone insect products is approximately $60 million.
 "Scentry's product line complements our current technology by expanding the product portfolio of our sales representatives and adding revenues to our operations," said John E. Davies, chairman and chief executive officer. "This acquisition gives us a competitive advantage in providing environmentally safe products, and allows us to move closer to our goal of becoming a fully integrated agricultural pest control company."
 Ecogen Inc. is an agricultural biotechnology company specializing in biological pest control. Ecogen has developed and is marketing a number of novel and proprietary biopesticides, including Cutlass(R) bioinsecticide for vegetables and tree, nut and vine crops; Condor(R) bioinsecticide for vegetables, cotton, soybeans and forestry; Foil(R) potato bioinsecticide; OTINEM(TM) bioinsecticide; and Collego(R) rice bioherbicide. The company is also developing products for corn, home/garden, and ornamental use as well as biofungicides including products for the control of powdery mildew and post harvest rot diseases.
 (Cutlass, Condor, Foil and Collego are registered trademarks of Ecogen, Inc.)
 -0- 4/22/92
 /CONTACT: John E. Davies, chairman and CEO of Ecogen, 215-757-1590; or Doug Jones (investors) of Strategic Growth International, 212-826-9622, or Anthony J. Russo (media) of Noonan/Russo Communications, 212-979-9180, both for Ecogen/
 (EECN CAG) CO: Ecogen Inc.; ConAgra, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU: TNM


GK-OS -- NY020 -- 1104 04/22/92 09:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 22, 1992
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