MM2 to shake-up nutra market with UTEK network

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutraceutical

Nutraceutical finance consultant MM2 Group has inked an agreement
with UTEK Corporation to boost its ambitious expansion policy by
identifying technology acquisition opportunities.

The New-Jersey based public holdings company has come close to two buy-outs in the nutraceutical industry in less than a year - starting with negotiations in 2005 to acquire Epic Nutrition before the deal was mutually terminated in January 2006, as well as its soon-to-be-completed purchase of Genotec Nutraceuticals.

The alliance could be the sign of the changing nature of the US nutraceutical industry as it moves away from so-called 'mom-and-pop' operations and inches closer to the acquisitions and mergers that characterize big players in other industries.

UTEK networks to find new technologies directly from universities and research laboratories worldwide. Through this process, dubbed U2B (university-to-business), UTEK facilitates the identification and acquisition of external technologies for clients in exchange for their equity securities.

"Utek is going to identify new technology for products,"​ MM2 president and CEO Mark Meller told "And MM2 can commercialize and buy or license for IP (intellectual property) from that technology."

MM2's strategy is to avail itself of the fragmented nature of the US nutraceuticals market in order to acquire companies and help them to more effectively bring their products to market with improved distribution.

"There are hundreds of small companies which have good products but inadequate distribution and/or financing,"​Mellor told in April.

Euromonitor International estimated the US retail market for dietary supplements to be worth $8.3bn in 2005, growth of six percent over 2004.

"We expect to be aggressive buyers of nutraceutical companies,"​ said Meller of MM2's strategic plans for the future.

UTEK has operations in the United States, United Kingdom and Israel.

Strategic alliance agreements are generally cancelable by either party with thirty days advance written notice.

Related topics: Suppliers

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