The recent US$ 620 million purchase of Australian vitamin company Nature’s Care by Chinese investors made other firms in the industry wonder what their chances are for a similar deal. “There is a lot of room for growth in China,” says business analyst Ben Cavender to Reuters.
Chinese investors have been hunting for deals in health foods, vitamins and supplements overseas to meet growing demand from China’s burgeoning middle class who are becoming increasingly health and fitness conscious.
Australian firms in the sector including Swisse Wellness and Vitaco Holdings have lured Chinese buyers in recent years, while Chinese drugmaker Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co (600664.SS) said it would buy a 40 percent stake in U.S. nutritional supplements maker GNC in February.
“There is a lot of room for growth in China,” said Ben Cavender, Shanghai-based principal at China Market Research Group, who added that Australian firms especially had built up good cachet and brand awareness in China.
The buying consortium added in their statement that there was “explosive growth” in Chinese demand for “high quality nutrition supplements from overseas countries like Australia”, helped in part by a flourishing cross-border online market.
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