BPV offers investment in Keratec owner

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Venture capital

BioPacificVentures has made an offer to acquire an eight per cent
share in Wool Equities, owner of New Zealand biotech Keratec - and
sources say it may seek a full take-over position.

BioPacificVentures (BPV) is a venture capital fund aimed at investing in Australiasian life sciences companies with the potential to become international leaders in their field.

The news that BPV has sent a letter to Wool Equities' shareholders offering to buy an eight percent stake at NZ$0.90 per share is a major validation for Keratec's business; a major investor in BPV is Swiss food giant Nestle, which is positioning to be a major force in health and wellness.

Keratec unveiled its sheeps-wool derived keratin to the joint health market in early 2005, and earlier this year a version aimed at skin health - both oral and topical.

The ingredient is typical of New Zealand's sustainable approach to innovation, since it developed a method of extracting it from wool in a soluble, digestible form by separating wool fibre into its constituent keratin parts without destroying its natural amino acid structure. This means different parts of the fibre can be used for different kinds of products and applications.

A source close to Wool Equities told NutraIngredients-USA.com that BPV is looking to increase its share to a take over position of 20 per cent.

Neither BioPacificVentures nor Wool Equities has issued a public statement on the matter. According to press reports the offer for the eight per cent acquisition expires on December 5 at 5pm.

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