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Australian Ethical Investment lifts stake in natural beauty product company Trilogy

Friday 5th January 2018

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Trilogy International has attracted the interest of Australia's largest ethical investment fund which has lifted its stake in the scented candle and natural beauty products maker above 10 percent.

Australian Ethical Investment Ltd. increased its stake in Trilogy to 10.4 percent from 9.4 percent, the Melbourne-based fund said in a substantial shareholding notice to the NZX today.  

Demand for ethical investments has grown as consumers shun companies that don't heed the needs of community, the environment, animals or other issues and seek out companies that support their values. Australian Ethical Investment's ethical charter hasn't changed since 1986, saying it seeks out investments that support people, quality and sustainability and avoids investments that harm people, animals, society and the environment. Last year, its funds under management grew above A$2 billion as it had record inflows of new members and funds.

Trilogy's businesses include its flagship rosehip oil skincare range Trilogy, scented candle maker Ecoya, skincare brand Lanocorp, and distribution business CS & Co and Australian Ethical Investment lists the investment under its "sustainable products" category. Trilogy shares last traded at $2.82 and have dropped 6.6 percent the past year.

In mid-December, Auckland-based Trilogy said it had entered a scheme of arrangement with Chinese investment manager CITIC Capital Partners, to sell all shares in the company for $2.90 cash per share. Trilogy directors have appointed Grant Samuel to prepare an independent adviser's report to help them and shareholders assets the merits of the scheme. At the time, the directors said if the offer price per share is within or above the valuation range and no superior proposal arises, Trilogy's directors intend to recommend the deal and sell their shares.

Other Kiwi investments in the Australian Ethical Investment portfolio include utilities software developer Gentrack Group, telecommunications company Spark New Zealand, energy companies Contact Energy, Mercury NZ, Meridian Energy, and Transpower New Zealand, medical device maker Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, health software developer Orion Health Group, online auction company Trade Me Group, and cloud-based accounting software firm Xero, according to the investment list on its website which was current as at March 31, 2017.

Australian Ethical Investment last traded on the ASX at A$141, valuing the fund at A$158 million.


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