A BRIDGEND-BASED medical spin-out venture which has developed products using maggots to clean wounds, has become a world leader in its field after acquiring a German rival.
A manufacturer of larval therapy products, ZooBiotic has acquired German company BioMonde for an undisclosed sum.
The deal secures ZooBiotic’s position as a dominant larval therapy player in the European wound healing market. BioMonde, based in Hamburg, has built up strong orders in German and other parts of mainland Europe.
The all-cash deal was led by Cardiff-based corporate finance specialists Gambit and corporate lawyers M&A Solicitors.
Chief executive of ZooBiotic Gareth Kempson said: “The acquisition consolidates our global intellectual property position and will provide us with the financial strength to complete our European market development. In time, this will enable Zoobiotic to build a firm foundation for our drive into the North American market.”
ZooBiotic was established in 2005 as a spin-out of Bro Morgannwg National Health Service Trust – one of the first such spin-outs of an NHS trust in the UK. The company specialises in the development, manufacture and use of larval therapy products used to support the treatment of chronic, infected and necrotic wounds through effective debridement.
Biomonde was established at around the same time and has grown at similar levels to ZooBiotic in the German and neighbouring markets.
Investors in the ZooBiotic include Finance Wales and Sir Roger Jones.
Sir Roger, non-executive chairman of ZooBiotic, said: “It’s good to see a Welsh home-grown business acquiring a European competitor in order to grow and develop our position and market opportunities.
“ZooBiotic is a significant Welsh success. None of this would have happened without the support of Finance Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government’s vision for supporting corporate growth.
“Finance Wales, has backed us from day one. In the difficult economic times which prevail, Wales is fortunate to have such an organisation capable of supporting a Welsh enterprise.”
The acquisition has boosted ZooBiotics’ turnover to around £5m.
In the longer term it plans to move into the US market, which would potentially require more than £10m of new funding to establish manufacturing facilities on the east and west coasts.
Christian Farrow, an associate in the corporate team at M&A Solicitors said: “We were delighted to act as lead advisors in this significant transaction for ZooBiotic. Our role was made more interesting by the cross-border issues and necessary involvement of advisors in various jurisdictions. The parties worked closely to pull together the various strands of the deal resulting in a successful outcome for all concerned.”
Geraint Rowe of Gambit said: “This acquisition provides the business with the platform to consolidate its leading position in the wound debridement market.
“Our involvement with the company extends back over a number of years, during which time we have witnessed its successful transition from an early stage technology spin-out to a world leader in its niche market.”
Finance Wales has invested equity of £3.1m in the business since 2005.
David Staziker of Finance Wales, who led the deal on behalf of the investors, said: “ZooBiotic has grown substantially since our initial investment in the spin-out business back in 2005. It is now the world leader in its field and with its significant cost-saving advantages over traditional wound debridement products, Zoobiotic is well placed to grow its markets in both Europe and the USA.
“Finance Wales is actively working with its portfolio companies to help them to grow both organically and through acquisition to build strong companies with global markets firmly based in Wales. This deal is the exemplar of this process.”