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New acquisition grows non-bee health product range for Comvita

Media release

Friday 4th August 2006

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Comvita has purchased New Zealand based natural health products company NZ Vitalife in a deal aligned with Comvita's strategy to expand the proportion of non-bee natural health products in its overall product range.

In acquiring NZ Vitalife, Comvita is adding new intellectual property and a focused range of New Zealand sourced herbal products with markets established in New Zealand and the UK. The $250,000 purchase involves a mix of cash and Comvita shares.

Comvita's Chief Executive Brett Hewlett says NZ Vitalife's trademarked brand names and product range will be marketed under the Comvita umbrella brand and sold into Comvita's international marketing channels, adding significant value to the acquisition.

"As well as export potential, the business will contribute significantly to Comvita's New Zealand retail health market sales, with minor incremental cost."

The deal will also add supply chain capability. Comvita will now directly source bulk echinacea for its range of Winter Wellness elixirs, resulting in lower costs and increased control over quality.

NZ Vitalife founder, Dr Caroline Davy, will join Comvita in a global training and technical support role. Dr Davy, a former practising GP, brings an important medical dimension to Comvita's global marketing team.

"Whilst not of significant size within Comvita's overall business, the fit with NZ Vitalife is excellent from a business and marketing perspective. The products meet our stringent quality standards and fit perfectly into our health solution categories," says Hewlett.

Comvita will introduce an initial range of herbal products into the New Zealand market by the fourth quarter of 2006, and then begin the global rollout early in 2007.

NZ Vitalife won the 2002 award for New Organic Exporter of the Year. The company was founded in 1998 by Dr Caroline Davy and Andrew Fowler.

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