Comvita New Zealand has purchased a 50 per cent share in Api-Med Medical Honey, a Cambridge, New Zealand-based joint venture set up to develop medical grade honey products.
The deal will see Comvita merging with the Bee and Herbal manuka honey marketing business, one of the arms of the Api-Med joint venture, gaining all of its assets including its 'Medi-Bee' brand.
Comvita CEO Graeme Boyd said the deal is significant for the further development of unique products of New Zealand origin.
"The potential for these products in the medical honey field is huge. They demonstrate the ability of natural products companies with strong research and development programmes to compete in the medical field," he said.
Comvita, planning to list on the New Zealand Stock Exchange's new AX market in November, is to add organisational and management strength to the company which is aiming for worldwide distribution into key medical markets.
"Bee and Herbal's business is strategic to Comvita. Their 'Medi-Bee' brand of manuka honey already has a very strong position in the UK health market and in Australia," added Boyd.
Api-Med, in conjunction with its UK manufacturing partner Brightwake, recently achieved the CE mark in the UK, marketing approval for its manuka honey dressings in hospitals and clinics.
Gary Betteridge, CEO of WaikatoLink, the commercial unit of the University of Waikato and other half of the Api-Med joint venture, said: "We now feel it is appropriate to let private companies get on with the production, marketing and sales of the technology."
Comvita focuses on immune-boosting, digestive health and general wellness treatments.