New Zealand-based investment firm Masthead has acquired the Wedderspoon Organic Group, a Manuka honey brand, for an undisclosed price.

Masthead, which is the commercial arm of the Stewart family, intends to integrate its various consumer brands under a new holding firm named Florenz.

The investment company plans to establish a US base to accelerate the expansion of Florenz products into North America.

Mike Tod will assume the role of CEO at Florenz.

Tod said: “We believe in the ability of Kiwis to compete and win on the global stage and have installed an outstanding team at Florenz with deep global experience.

“Through Florenz, we have started assembling and growing a complementary series of businesses. Florenz is actively looking at other investment opportunities as it seeks to grow a world-class export business to further strengthen the New Zealand economy.”

Wedderspoon Organic, which has a presence in over 23,000 retail outlets like Walmart, Costco, and Whole Foods, will help in the foundation for Florenz. It is a distributor of New Zealand-sourced and manufactured Manuka honey products in North America.

The brand’s product line spans from bottled Manuka honey to Manuka honey lozenges, drops, apple cider vinegar, and Bee Propolis throat sprays.

Tod said: “We are privileged to become the new custodians of the Wedderspoon brand and to support the growth of the New Zealand Manuka honey industry by building more global awareness of this incredible natural product.

“It is terrific to be able to support Rebecca and her team on this next chapter of the Wedderspoon journey as the company seeks to accelerate growth through online and bricks-and-mortar sales in the United States, Canada and Europe.”

Florenz also holds ownership of several entities based in New Zealand. These include Xtend-Life Group, an exporter of vitamins and supplements, and Dry Food New Zealand, a manufacturer of ingredients.

Additionally, Florenz owns 2Before Performance Nutrition, which specialises in sports performance supplements based on blackcurrant.

2Before Performance Nutrition was acquired from the New Zealand government-owned Plant and Food Research.

Furthermore, Florenz is a shareholder in Harker Herbals Products, a company specialising in herbal remedies.

Recently, Masthead divested premium pet food manufacturer Ziwi.