5 Sep 2013

Derma buys into Comvita

7:02 pm on 5 September 2013

Derma Sciences, a specialist wound care company, has bought a 7% stake in manuka honey products manufacturer Comvita.

The two companies have a history of working together: Derma Sciences owns the global licence to make Comvita's Medihoney products, and Comvita already owns a 6% stake in Derma.

Global demand for manuka honey is increasing and Derma says the investment helps secure the supply of its biggest single raw ingredient.

Comvita has long wanted to increase its own supply of manuka honey from 30% to at least 50%, as global demand and price for the medicinal ingredient grows.

Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett said the company will use the $9 million investment from Derma to buy more bee farms.

Mr Hewlett said the investment from Derma Sciences meant the company now had the cash to accelerate that plan, which was especially important with demand and prices continuing to rise.

Derma Sciences is now Comvita's third largest shareholder.