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Better Health Co sells controlling stake

NZN 31/01/2017 Paul McBeth

Better Health Co has sold an 80 per cent stake to an Asian private equity fund to help the Lower Hutt-based supplements maker break into export markets.

The Overseas Investment Office approved the deal in December, where ORA New Zealand, a private equity fund ultimately controlled by pan-Asian alternative asset fund manager China Diamond Holdings, acquired the stake in "sensitive land" and "significant business assets". The consideration paid was withheld.

The Better Health Co manufactures and distributes natural health products under the GO Healthy brand, sold exclusively through pharmacies and health stores.

The OIO summary decision, released Tuesday, says the vendors had "achieved a number of its initial strategic objectives and is the market leader in its New Zealand distribution channel" and wanted to use that brand to enter international markets.

"The vendors wished to include in the business a strategic partner who could assist with speed of entry into international markets. A partner was sought that has the resources, capability and willingness to accelerate the growth of GO Healthy," the notice said.

"The applicant intends to act as a catalyst for expansion of the Go Healthy business and unlock value for all stakeholders by providing the needed assistance and resources to the existing management team in its efforts to capture these new opportunities."

The deal is the latest where Asian investors have shown an interest in Australasian food supplements businesses, with Vitaco Health Group taken over by a Chinese-led consortium last year after a brief period on the ASX.

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