U.S. pig breeding company Newsham Choice Genetics has announced that Groupe Grimaud of France will become its full owner in February 2010 in a move that the organizations describe as forwarding their commitment to become a global leader in providing swine genetics.

Until now, Newsham has been owned jointly by Groupe Grimaud's equity parent Bucolica of the Netherlands, the Mitchell family and some Newsham management personnel. Newsham considers itself to be the second-largest supplier of swine genetics in North America.

Groupe Grimaud says it is the second-largest multi-species animal genetics company in the world. It is involved principally in poultry breeding, through Hubbard for broiler chickens, Novogen for laying hens and Grimaud Frères for ducks. It is also developing technologies for biopharmaceutical use through Vivalis, its Euronext-listed subsidiary.

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Frederic Grimaud, president of Groupe Grimaud, said, "This ownership change indicates our dedication and support for the Newsham Choice Genetics business and their ability to create genetic change at an unprecedented rate to meet the demands of the swine industry. We also see a real opportunity to extend Newsham business worldwide through the global network of our group, as well as a larger cooperative emphasis in [research and development] innovation."

The members of Newsham's current management team will continue in their current roles.