Zoono Group “very desirable” target on back of anti-coronavirus sanitizer success – CEO

09 March 2020

Zoono Group, a New Zealand antimicrobial product developer, has become a “very desirable” takeover target now after proving its Z71 Microbe Shield surface sanitizer prevents cross-contamination and is 99.99% effective against coronavirus COVID-19, said CEO Paul Hyslop.

Zoono Group, a New Zealand antimicrobial product developer, has become a “very desirable” takeover target now after proving its Z71 Microbe Shield surface sanitizer prevents cross-contamination and is 99.99% effective against coronavirus COVID-19, said CEO Paul Hyslop.

 

The ASX-listed company produces a range of antimicrobial solutions for humans as well as animals based on its ‘Zoono molecule’, a unique technology, that bonds to surfaces and kills pathogens like bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi and mould, and lasts on surfaces for 30 days or skin for 24 hours. On 28 February, Zoono announced results from laboratory tests undertaken against COVID-19 showing that Z71 is 99.99% effective against COVID-19, which has been shown to survive on surfaces for up to nine days, demonstrating its ability to be part of the solution to prevent and protect against the spread of the virus.

 

Zoono is already receiving interest from parties that want to take a strategic financial position in the company, especially Asian pharma and medical companies, Hyslop told this news service.

 

The company’s current focus, however, is on organic growth, he continued, noting that it is actively seeking a global distribution partnership for its products for humans, similar to its distribution partnership with Apiam Animal Health. The company is already talking to several parties now, he added.

 

An ideal partner would be a global medical distributor like a pharma company that already has existing sales in Zoono’s target markets, Hyslop said. The company sells in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, the UAE and Asia, and is particularly keen at this time to expand in Singapore and Malaysia, he added.

 

The company, which announced a partnership with Eagle Health in February to sell co-branded products into China to fight the coronavirus, has seen a massive increase in its market cap to AUD 259m (USD 169m) now from AUD 12m in January 2019 when it last spoke to this news service.

 

The massive jump is, however, not only due to its success with the coronavirus, as its market cap had already started increasing towards the end of 2019 on the back of its progress in the animal health space, notably with Z71 proving an effective antimicrobial in African swine fever and bird flu, Hyslop noted.

 

Zoono was founded in 2009 by Hyslop, who is still the company’s largest shareholder with a 41% stake. He sold down from 52% in February this year to Sydney-based Regal Funds Management, which is now Zoon’s second largest with 9%, the CEO said, adding that he has no current plans to dilute further.

 

This news service reported last year that Zoono was seeking a dual listing in the UK. Although the company has opened an office in London, it has currently shelved its listing plans, Hyslop said, noting that the company is looking to increase manufacturing to support production to fight the coronavirus and has expanded its premises and hired new staff.

 

On 19 February 2020, Zoono announced unaudited revenue for the current quarter (seven weeks only) of NZD 3.5m (USD 2.2m), compared with NZD 1.7m for the whole of 1H20, and cash in excess of NZD 4m, an increase of over NZ 1m from 31 December 2019. The company’s IR advisor is Sydney-based The Capital Network.