Karex plans more acquisitions this year


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 06 Apr 2016

A worker at Karex Bhd testing a water-filled condom for leaks. The company says it is building a new factory in Pontian by end-2014 to boost capacity to 6 billion pieces a year.

PETALING JAYA: Condom maker Karex Bhd is planning for more acquisitions this year and is venturing into the online business via its newly acquired TheyFit LLC, a custom fit condom manufacturer.

Karex chief executive officer Goh Miah Kiat said the company would rebrand and relaunch TheyFit condoms online under the group’s inhouse brand One some time in August or September.

Karex had recently signed an asset purchase agreement with TheyFit to acquire intellectual property as well as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals for US$1.3mil (RM5.5mil).

Karex’s subsidiary in the United States, Global Protection Corp, will manage the intellectual property, the TheyFit trademark, all approvals to carry on its business including the FDA approvals, the websites, the distribution agreement, business information and inventory from TheyFit.

TheyFit is a company incorporated in the US that owns the patents, trade names and trademarks for condoms manufactured, marketed and sold under the TheyFit brand in key markets such as the United Kingdom and Europe.

TheyFit custom fit condoms come in 95 different sizes in 14 different lengths and 12 different nominal widths. They are sold in 28 European member states through its distributors in the UK and Europe.

“We know a brand like this has a lot of potential, but it doesn’t have a platform due to it being launched by an unknown brand.

“So, this is where the strength of Karex is starting to gel up. We started to move as a manufacturer and now we are slowly moving into the branded business and distribution,” he said after the group’s EGM yesterday.

He added that the online platform was unique in the condom business but was getting more recognition in the US and China.

“We are optimistic of the new product and the fact that it is online. This is because it is not possible to find all 95 sizes in one store. It’s going to be very unique.

“The cost of making it is very low, so the profit margin is tremendous,” he said.

Karex is currently sitting on an RM180mil cashpile and is expecting more acquisitions this year.

“Not that the ringgit has strengthened, acquisitions would also be cheaper.

“We are hoping for more than one acquisition this year and are looking at acquiring distribution channels and brands within the condom business,” he said.

Karex has guided that installed production capacity is expected to rise to about six billion pieces by the end of calendar year 2016, and to seven billion pieces in calendar year 2017.

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