(June 10) OXNARD, Calif. — Seminis Inc. has entered into an agreement in which Fox Paine & Co., San Francisco, will purchase outstanding shares of Seminis in a deal that is expected to strengthen the seed company financially and help it pay off debt.

Fox Paine & Co. is a private equity firm with investment funds of more than $1.5 billion in equity capital. Besides being the parent company of Seminis Inc., Savia is parent company of Bionova Holding, Culiacan, Mexico.

Bionova Produce Inc., Nogales, Ariz., is a subsidiary of Bionova Holding.

Fox Paine & Company will purchase about 15.8 million shares in a deal valued at about $650 million. As part of the agreement, Dexter Paine, president of Fox Paine, will serve as vice chairman of Seminas.

Alfonso Romo Garza, chairman and chief executive officer of Seminis and its parent company Savia S.A. de CV, Monterrey, Mexico, will remain in his current position. Other management positions will remain the same, said Enrique Osorio, vice president of investor relations for Seminis.

The transaction is expected to be completed later this summer and is subject to approval by Seminis stockholders, availability of financing and regulatory approvals.

Romo said that with Fox Paine as a strategic partner, Seminis’ position as an international seed company will be strengthened. Seminis is already the world’s largest seed producing company.