VENTURES: Cape Town C2C Acquires 50% Stake In Natura
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Cape Town-based private equity firm Coast2Coast Investments (C2C) has entered the Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs) market with the acquisition of well-known homeopathic brand, Natura in a R60-million deal. The deal which includes the property and manufacturing operation, will see C2C, under its health company Nutrivest acquire the business of Natura into a new company Comed Health. C2C and the current Natura owners will each initially hold 50% of the well-known brand, which has significant excess manufacturing capacity at it new state of the art production facility in Pretoria.
“The acquisition is in line with our business strategy,” Company Chief Operating Officer, Cris Dillon said. “We have clear criteria for acquisitions; companies must be well-established businesses with a long track record, preferably more than 10 years, they must have a turnover of more than R50-million or profits of over R10-million per year. Natura fitted the bill in every sense.”
Natura was founded in 1966 by Dr Michael Levien, now 88 years old, and still one of South Africa’s prominent Homeopaths. Dr Levien has been largely responsible for establishing Homeopathy as a mainstream alternative to allopathic medicine. Natura has continually been at the forefront of homeopathic and herbal medicine in South Africa, and remains the number one brand in this category today. The wide array of products that the company manufactures and markets, via both its professional and retail divisions, provide treatment for a wide range of illnesses.
Natura products are available in virtually every pharmacy, health shop, chain store, and through the majority of complementary medical practitioners in South Africa. The company is on track to reach annual sales of over R80m in the next financial year.
Coast2Coast, founded in 2006 by ex-Zimbabwean CEO Gary Shayne and later joined by Cris Dillon, has so far built a portfolio of companies in the food, manufacturing, property and distribution sectors. Over time C2C has shifted their focus towards the fast-moving consumer goods sector.
“The CAMs industry has shown significant year-on-year growth, with consumers turning more regularly to self-medication and health maintenance,” Dillon said. “The Natura acquisition is an opportunity for Comed to acquire further brands and achieve our vision to become the number one player in the health products category in emerging markets.”
Comed will be headed up by industry veteran and continuing CEO, Peter Kreft, who has been MD of Natura for the past five years. Kreft was also CEO of Wala International in Germany, a CAMs business with annual sales today of R7-billion, for a number of years prior to returning home to South Africa.
“The acquisition could not have come at a better time. Natura has been looking to expand and acquire other health product businesses, and in order to do so, we needed a partner with M&A and operational experience who not only shared a similar culture but could also assist with acquisition and expansion capital’,’ Kreft said.
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