Blackmores is getting into Chinese herbal medicine

Making up a prescription of Chinese herbal medicine in Hangzhou, China. China Photos/Getty Images

Blackmores, the vitamin maker with Australia’s most expensive shares, has paid $23 million for a stake in a Chinese herbal medicine business to further enhance its product push into Asia.

The company today announced the acquisition of Global Therapeutics, Australia’s leading provider of retail Chinese herbal medicine formulations through the brands Fusion and Oriental Botanicals.

Sales in China and Asia are turbocharging Blackmores. The vitamin company posted a record profit of $76 million for the first nine months of the financial year, a 145% increase. Sales were up 63% to $532 million.

The company says its purchase of 100% of Global Therapeutics will help Blackmores deepen its understanding of the Chinese market.

Global Therapeutics delivered $20 million in invoiced sales and $3 million in EBIT (earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortisation) over the last 12 months.

The business was established in Byron Bay in 1999 by naturopath and medical herbalist Paul Keogh and natural health industry veteran Geoff Teasel.

The product range is based on the combination of incorporating herbal extracts used in China for more than 2,000 years with those validated by modern science.

Blackmores sees considerable opportunity in the $170 billion global Chinese herbal medicine market.

“In the future, Global Therapeutics will also provide us a new product portfolio to sell through our existing distribution networks in Asia while also deepening our understanding of Chinese herbal medicine,” says CEO Christine Holgate.

“It will bring us closer to our Chinese consumers in Australia which will underpin our growth success internationally, and it will give us further scale to boost our operational effectiveness.”

Blackmores shares last traded at $169.67.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at