Monsanto has signed an agreement to acquire Delta and Pine Land Co. for $1.5 billion in cash. The transaction was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies and is subject to Delta and Pine Land shareowner approval, antitrust clearance and customary closing conditions.

Delta and Pine Land operates the largest and longest running private cotton seed breeding program in the world.

In recent years, Delta and Pine Land has expanded its breeding efforts through facilities across the U.S. and around the world. Management believes the proposed combination should enhance second-generation biotech trait offerings to give cotton farmers more choices.