NZX-listed natural health and beauty products company Comvita has acquired the apiary business of Whanganui-based Kiwi Honey for an undisclosed sum.

Comvita said the purchase would strengthen its supply of manuka honey.

Kiwi Honey has 3,500 beehives throughout the Whanganui region.

Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett said the business would provide Comvita with additional security of supply of manuka honey.


Kiwi Honey will become the fourth 100 per cent-owned apiary business for Comvita, which has apiary businesses in the key geographic regions of Northland, Waikato and Wairarapa.

"Having a presence in the Whanganui region is strategically important as this area is renowned for its production of UMF honey," he said in statement.

UMF is the antibacterial property found in some strains of manuka honey. High UMF indicates the honey has a high antibacterial component, making it useful for wound dressing and other therapeutic uses.

Hewlett said Kiwi Honey's owner Paul Sergent had been a valued supplier of high quality Manuka honey to Comvita for over 20 years.

In the coming season, Hewlett expected a third of its honey to come from Comvita-owned apiaries. Comvita was last year was the subject of an unsuccessful $72 million takeover bid from Singapore's Cerebos, which offered $2.50 a share.

Since then, the stock has been one of the share market's stronger performers, trading on Monday at $4.09 - not far from the top of a $1.95 to $4.28 over the last 52 weeks.