Pacific Channel start-up company sold to New Image Group

December 9, 2010

Auckland: The business assets of a Pacific Channel Ltd start-up company that has successfully commercialised a sleep-enhancing milk product in Asia has been sold to New Image Group (NZX:NEW) for an undisclosed sum.

Somnaceutics was co-founded by Pacific Channel three years earlier to develop the milk product.

Pacific Channel Director, Brent Ogilvie, said “the sale of Somnaceutics’ business assets was very pleasing because it demonstrates that start-up companies based on New Zealand science can be commercially successful and generate returns for investors in a short period”.

Pacific Channel organised two investment rounds in Somnaceutics co-investing with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund and private individuals.

Pacific Channel also managed the company from start-up before identifying a Chief Executive Officer and Dr Gary Pace as Chairman. Dr Pace is a director of ResMed, a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of products for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

The sleep-enhancing milk is based on a product that was initially developed by well-known New Zealander, Professor Bob Elliot, who is also the scientist behind ASX listed company, Living Cell Technologies (ASX:LCT), a global leader in cell therapy.

Production of the sleep-enhancing milk is being ramped up, with more cows that naturally produce milk with the sleep enhancement peptide being added to special dairy herds.

The sleep-enhancing milk will continue to be produced from New Zealand through New Image Group, which also has the marketing resources to develop sales globally.