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US investment network targets European health & wellness firms

By Nicola Cottam , 01-Apr-2014

NCN: “We have reached a critical mass of strategic investor members of NCN in the supply and specialty nutrient business and believe this is a good time to expand our network into Europe.”
NCN: “We have reached a critical mass of strategic investor members of NCN in the supply and specialty nutrient business and believe this is a good time to expand our network into Europe.”

Nutrition Capital Network (NCN) is setting up shop in Europe this May at Vitafoods in Geneva and is scouting for investment opportunities in the health and wellness sector.

Launched in 2007 in San Diego, Califronia, NCN acts as a mediator between businesses and investors having already secured financing for 166 companies through 19 host meetings over the last five years.

Key investors in the include BASF, Bayer, Cargill, Coca-Cola, DSM, DuPont, Hershey’s, Kellogg’s, Pepsi, Tate & Lyle and Unilever.

NCN president, Grant Ferrier said: “Interest in nutrition and health and wellness is a global trend; given the consistent quality and volume of deal flow we have seen over the last several years.

We have reached a critical mass of strategic investor members of NCN in the supply and specialty nutrient business and believe this is a good time to expand our network into Europe.”

The focus of NCN Europe will be on science, technology and value-added suppliers, with up to 12 presenting companies and 40 potential investors, including Abbott Labs, DSM, Cargill, Herbalife, Nestle Health Sciences, Kerry Group, Unilever, Novus, Seventure and Tate & Lyle Ventures.

Broad range of opportunities

Of particular interest to investors is technology and innovation targeting health conditions in brain function and memory; diabetes and weight loss; energy; digestive distress, the human biome, probiotics, heart health and micronutrients, and diagnostic and monitoring equipment to support the development of personalized medicine.

Ferrier explained: “Investors are looking to make equity investments or acquisitions, but equally important, seeking to develop leads or their corporate partnerships in technology development, commercialisation, clinical trials, distribution or licensing.

“Innovation is very much an internal and external thing in the corporate toolkit these days, and NCN has become part of that for many of our investor members.”

Presenting companies need to be organised, have a focused plan, be motivated, have a good track record, as well as solid intellectual property (IP) testing behind their science.

Ferrier added: “Some pre-commercial firms have millions in development behind them from grants or university work and have some value. In the end equity investors invest in solid business propositions but strategic investors may be more interested in IP with high potential in their areas of interest.”

The half-day meeting is scheduled for May 5, from 12-6pm, prior to the Vitafoods Europe exhibition and conference.

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