New company on the look-out for supplement acquisitions
will start trading shares this week to fund acquisitions in the
NeutraHealth, whose managing board includes Martin Gatto, a former finance director of British Energy, Michael Toxvaerd, a former head of SEM Holding, a Danish electricals group, and Sir Gulam Noon, the curry entrepreneur, expects to raise around £1.5 million (€2.18m) in a share placement on London's Alternative Investment Market this week.
The company has already raised £1.26 million from about 20 founder shareholders.
NeutraHealth plans to make its first acquisition within six months, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph. It is looking at manufacturers of vitamin and mineral supplements or probiotic foods with annual turnovers of up to £15 million, said Toxvaerd, chief executive of the new firm.
It may also consider makers of organic foods and alternative remedies.
Following its first deal, it could raise further funds of up to £10 million to fund a second acquisition, said the paper.
The nutraceuticals sector is seeing strong growth, leading to interest from investors. A report on the US nutraceuticals market out at the end of the month will reveal that there has been a significant rise in mergers and acqusitions in the sector, particularly in supplememts.
Mike Chase, managing director of Health Business Partners, said the supplements sector "has not been this hot since 1998 - it is once again a good time to be a seller".
While the marketplace looks quite different in the UK, growth in health foods and supplements remains strong and is likely to generate a similar upswing in M&A activity.
NeutraHealth will start trading on AIM on Friday.