Honey products company Comvita said it has bought Te Awamutu-based apiary Waikato Honey Products for an undisclosed sum to increase its supply of Manuka honey.
The Waikato-based company farms 3,500 beehives through the Waikato and central North island. It will be incorporated into Comvita's existing Kiwi Bee Apiary business.
Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett said the Waikato location is ideal for helping hives get through winter months, for growing new hives and for providing strong hive growth during the late winter and spring in preparation for the Manuka flowering.
“Our policy on honey supply remains one of supporting our loyal beekeepers and sourcing the majority of our Manuka honey requirements through these long-standing relationships,” Hewlett said.
Comvita has invested over the last five years in developing elite Manuka strains for reforestation of marginal land to ensure the supply of Manuka continues to meet the increasing international demand for Manuka honey.
“Waikato Honey Products provides Comvita with an ideal platform to get the most out of our significant investment in research and development,” Hewlett said.
Comvita is the subject of a hostile $71.6 million takeover bid from Cerebos New Zealand. Comvita shares are 1 cent higher at $2.71 and well above Cerebos' $2.50 a share offer. Comvita’s board has recommended shareholders turn down the offer, calling it a “unsolicited, unwelcome, opportunistic” bid.