3i invests to drive international growth of Asian market leader Futaste Pharmaceutical

21 Jan 2008

3i announces today that it has invested an undisclosed sum for a minority stake in Futaste (formerly known as Futian) Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (“Futaste”). Futaste is a world leading producer, by sales volume and production capacity, of the natural sweetener Xylitol.

The funds and active support from 3i will help Futaste to consolidate its leadership position on a worldwide scale through international expansion and further strengthening of the company’s management team and board.

Founded in 1993 in Yucheng, Shandong province, Futaste is the world’s leading producer of Xylitol, a natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners, offering an identical level of sweetness but with a third less calories than sugar. Xylitol is used widely in chewing gum and increasingly in chocolate, sweets, ice cream, preserves, beverages and toothpaste due to its health and cavity prevention benefits and suitability for diabetics. Importantly Xylitol is produced entirely naturally from corn cobs as part of an environmentally friendly process.

Futaste is the market leader in the Asian Xylitol market with international customers including major international confectionary brands.

The Xylitol market continues to see strong demand and rapid growth worldwide due to an increasingly health conscious consumer and fast growth in chewing gum sales.

Albert Xu, Chief Representative of 3i’s Shanghai office, comments: “As the Asian market leader in a fast growing sector, Futaste has a huge opportunity to dominate the market on a global scale. We are looking forward to working closely with the Futaste team to bring our global contacts and experience to bear to achieve their ambitious aims.”

Mr Wang Xingyun, Chairman of Futaste, adds: ”We welcome 3i and look forward to working in partnership with them. 3i’s investment will bring Futaste a new opportunity for development.”

 

About 3i

3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia.  Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business.  These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

www.3i.com

About Futaste Phamaceutical Co Ltd.

Futaste Pharmaceutical Co.,Ltd. was established in Yucheng, Shandong Province, China in March 1993. In just over ten years, it has grown to become a comprehensive polyols producer with an annual processing capacity of 20,000 tons of xylose and 35,000 tons of xylitol. It also produces eight other kinds of polyols.

www.futaste.com