Jamie Gray is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Comvita co-founder reaps $12m from sell-down

Bee keeper with Comvita. Photo / File
Bee keeper with Comvita. Photo / File

Comvita co-founder Alan Bougen has sold down his stake in the high-flying NZX-listed manuka honey company for just over $12 million.

In a notice to the NZX, Bougen's trust - Flaxmill - said it had sold down its stake in the company to just over 5 per cent from 7.6 per cent.

The transaction involved the sale of 1 million Comvita shares at $12.06 a share.
Comvita was founded by Claude Stratford in 1974. Bougen became Stratford's business partner two years later.

The company makes several honey and olive leaf extract products. It also manufactures medical grade manuka honey for the treatment or severe wounds and burns.

In a separate notice, Princeton, New Jersey-based Derma Sciences sold down its stake in Comvita to 4.7 per cent from 7 per cent.

The transaction involved the sale of 925,000 shares, also at $12.06 a share.

According to its website, Derma Sciences is a tissue regeneration company "at the forefront of research and innovation for the management of acute and chronic wounds, and burns".

Comvita, which has a market capitalisation of $478.9 million, has been a star performer on the NZX.

The stock tripled in price in the year, hitting a record high $12.40 last month. They traded today at $12.00 a share.

This week, the company said its annual net profit jumped to $17.2 million from $10.2 million the year earlier, based on increased Australian sales, and up from November forecast for a profit of $15m-$17m.

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