GERMAN FIRM BUYS MONSANTO ASTROTURF UNIT

GERMAN FIRM BUYS MONSANTO ASTROTURF UNIT

Monsanto Co., a pioneer in the development of synthetic turf for sports fields, said that it sold its Astroturf Industries Inc. subsidiary to Balsam Sportstaettenbau GmBH, of Steinhagen, West Germany

Terms were not disclosed. Astroturf Industries will continue to be based in Dalton, Ga., and will become a subsidiary of Balsam, a company spokesman said.Monsanto installed the world's first commercially produced synthetic turf playing surface in the Astrodome in Houston, in 1966. Since then, Astroturf surfaces have been installed in hundreds of sports stadiums and athletic fields around the world, a company spokesman said.

Balsam is a multinational market leader and manufacturer of sports and recreational surfaces, and has been serving as Monsanto's European and Asia- Pacific distributor for Astroturf recreational surfaces. In addition, it has some other U.S.-based subsidiaries that market and install indoor and outdoor sports floor systems.

The agreement gives balsam the rights to the Astroturf trademark, but Monsanto will continue to use the trademark in its doormat business.