A Marrone Bio employee tests a sample in a vineyard.

Marrone Bio

Publicly-traded agricultural technology firm Marrone Bio said Thursday it is moving its headquarters from Davis, California, to Raleigh and will relocate most of its senior leadership to North Carolina.

In a statement, the company said the move would make it easier to work with its partners in Europe and South America.

“International expansion is a key element of our long-term growth plans, and this move provides us greater proximity to global markets,” Kevin Helash, Marrone Bio’s CEO, said. “We’re delighted to be part of the rich agricultural technology community in the Research Triangle area, and look forward to deepening our relationships with partners and customers based in the area.”

The Triangle’s cluster of agtech companies, such as AgBiome, Syngenta and Pairwise, also made the Triangle an attractive place for Marrone to land, Helash said.

“Given the region’s extensive agricultural focus, we also anticipate tapping into a talent pool of individuals who will be attracted to the growth opportunities Marrone Bio has to offer,” he said.

A spokesperson for the company said Marrone did not have a presence in the Triangle before. Its new office will be at 7780 Brier Creek Parkway in Raleigh.

Helash, as well as other members of the c-suite, will be moving to the Triangle in the short term, said Angela Keyser, a spokeswoman for the company.

Keyser said the firm’s research and development teams will continue to be based in Davis, but that the company anticipates hiring more employees in the Triangle going forward. “We will have positions opening in the coming months and years,” she said.

Marrone Bio, founded in 2006 by Pam Marrone, makes a variety of fungicides and plant health products.

The company has a market capitalization of $131 million, and shares of the company were trading at 75 cents per share on Thursday.

California companies moving to NC

It is the latest in a string of companies to relocate to the Triangle from California in recent months.

Last summer, power technology firm Smart Wires moved its headquarters from the Bay Area to Durham after getting an incentive package from the state, The News & Observer previously reported.

And in December, Science 37, a clinical research company, moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to Morrisville after similarly getting incentives from the state, The N&O reported.

Extreme Networks, a publicly-traded networking company, also moved its headquarters from San Jose to Morrisville last August, The Triangle Business Journal reported.

This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work. Learn more; go to bit.ly/newsinnovate

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Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He covers technology, startups and main street businesses, biotechnology, and education issues related to those areas.