The NZVCA Deal of the Year Award is meant to recognize great performance in the private equity industry. This year’s winner was announced on Thursday, October 22 in Queenstown during the NZVCA annual conference and entries are judged based on the return to investors and the company’s overall financial performance. Additionally, the entries are looked at based on the company’s contribution to employment, economy, consistency, innovation and industry competitiveness.
Based on the above listed criteria, the 2015 NZVCA Deal of the Year Award was presented to Waterman Capital for their investment in Manuka Health. The executive director of NZVCA, Colin McKinnon, said that “The Waterman Capital investment in Manuka Health is an example of innovation, growth, and excellent returns on investment that benefit investors. Through the period of Waterman’s ownership revenue grew from $17m in 2012 to approximately $70m in the current year.”
McKinnon went on to say that “the winner of our 2015 award is an example of the purpose and aim of private equity: to partner with companies to improve growth and performance, to share expertise and capital. This ultimately delivers improved productivity, creates jobs and contributes to the national economy.” Manuka Health is the second largest exporter and producer of Manuka honey and related products in the country of New Zealand and has shown amazing year over year growth since 2006.
Waterman Capital started its investment in Manuka Health in 2012 and provided expansion capital for a number of initiatives toward growth. During the last three years, the company helped to fund the construction of a $10 million processing facility with state of the art equipment that helped to triple the company’s production abilities, quadrupled employment and made a number of senior appointments.
Additionally, the investment provided by Waterman Capita helped to make advancements in securing further supply of key ingredients like propolis and Manuka. The company invested in research and development to support scientific health claims and provided Manuka Health with the ability to play a central role in introducing regulation, which will both benefit Manuka Health and the industry as a whole.
Waterman Capital was established in 2004 and is one of the nation’s most practiced private equity companies. The organization manages a number of funds that help to channel skills and capital into private companies such as Manuka Health. Other investments that Waterman Capital has made include Academic Colleges Group, New Zealand’s largest education company, and Healthcare Holdings which is the operator of Auckland, one of the country’s largest private hospital systems.