New Zealand exporter Manuka Health has been sold to Australian private equity giant Pacific Equity Partners.

The Business Herald understands the purchase price was $110 million - more than five times the $20 million valuation placed on the company in 2012 when Auckland investment firm Waterman Capital purchased a 20 per cent stake in the wellness business.

Founded in 2006 by Kerry Paul, Manuka Health sells its products - which include honey, propolis and royal jelly - in more than 45 countries.

It has annual sales of around $70 million, up from $17 million in 2012.


Waterman director Chris Marshall said the company was pleased with the outcome of the investment.

"The company has grown at an extraordinary pace and delivered an outstanding return to our investors," Marshall said. "We are similarly pleased that our skills and capital have been of assistance in achieving such a satisfying outcome."

Since 2012 Manuka Health has seen growth including the construction of a $10 million processing facility in Te Awamutu and a quadrupling of staff numbers.

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Accident Compensation Corporation are investors in the Waterman Fund 2, which invested in Manuka Health.

Manuka Health's other shareholders include founder Paul, veteran investor Ray Thomson and Milford Asset Management.