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Seed company Pioneer Hi-Bred says it bought a majority share in South African-based Pannar Seed Limited, expanding Pioneer's reach in the African market.

Pioneer, the second-biggest seed company in the United States after Monsanto Co., did not disclose terms of the deal.

The purchase is subject to approval by the South African Competition Commission and other countries' regulatory agencies.

Pioneer said the partnership would help it develop genetically engineered crops specifically tailored to different regions of Africa. The deal is expected to close in early 2011 if approved.

Pioneer is a subsidiary of Wilmington, Del.-based chemical maker DuPont Co.

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