Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Zealand Firm Reduces Reliance on Apitherapy Products

Comvita's Olive Buy Cuts Reliance on Bees
By Andrew Janes, The Dominion Post (New Zealand), 8/30/2007

Comvita is reducing its reliance on bee-derived health products with a $30 million-plus acquisition of an Australian company that produces an olive extract to fight coughs and colds.

The Bay of Plenty company will pay $A20 million ($NZ23.3 million) for Olive Products Australia, and will pay up to $A6 million more if Olive Products meets growth targets in the next two years.

The purchase is subject to shareholder approval, final due diligence and finance.

Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett said the purchase would cut Comvita's dependence on bee-based products.

Olive Products owns a grove of 500,000 olive trees in southeast Queensland and produces a liquid olive leaf extract, most of which is sold directly to consumers.

The extract is also used by arthritis and asthma sufferers and Mr Hewlett said there was scientific evidence, verified by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration, that the extract lowered cholesterol and thinned the blood…

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