Waterman Capital Wins NZVCA 2015 Deal of the Year Award

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The NZVCA Deal of the Year Award recognises outstanding performance in the private equity industry and was announced at the NZVCA 2015 annual conference in Queenstown yesterday (22 October).

NZVCA Executive Director Colin McKinnon says: `The Waterman Capital investment in Manuka Health is an example of innovation, growth, and excellent returns on investment that benefit investors. Through the period of Waterman’s ownership revenue grew from $17m in 2012 to approximately $70m in the current year.’

Entries were judged on return to investors and the company’s financial performance. The company’s contribution to the economy, employment, innovation, consistency and industry competitiveness was also taken into account.

Mr McKinnon adds: ‘the winner of our 2015 award is an example of the purpose and aim of private equity: to partner with companies to improve growth and performance, to share expertise and capital. This ultimately delivers improved productivity, creates jobs and contributes to the national economy.’

Manuka Health is the second largest producer and exporter of Manuka honey related products in New Zealand and has demonstrated extraordinary year on year growth since its inception in 2006.

Waterman invested in Manuka Health in 2012 providing expansion capital to fund a number of growth initiatives. During this period the company:

  • *constructed a $10m, state of the art, processing facility in Te Awamutu which tripled production capabilities;
  • *quadrupled staff numbers including a number of senior appointments;
  • *made significant advancements to secure further supply of the key raw ingredients, manuka and propolis;
  • *invested significantly in research and development to support products with scientific health claims and protect relevant intellectual property; and,
  • *played a central role in introducing industry regulation which will benefit Manuka Health and the wider honey sector.

Established in 2004, Waterman Capital is one of New Zealand’s most experienced private equity players. It manages a series of funds that channel capital and skills to private companies like Manuka Health. Other investments include New Zealand’s largest education business Academic Colleges Group, and Healthcare Holdings (Mercy Ascot), operator of the largest private hospitals in Auckland.

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