Biotech player continues to add to stable of agricultural goods producers CK Life Sciences, the biotechnology arm of Cheung Kong (Holdings), has bought Envirogreen, the second-largest home garden products company in Australia, for $108 million. Kam Hing-lam, president and chief executive of the Growth Enterprise Market-listed firm, said its new and profitable acquisition 'is poised to bring an instant financial contribution to the group after the completion of the transaction'. Envirogreen, jointly owned by Australian listed companies CSR and Brambles Industries, operates two manufacturing and three distribution facilities. It has an estimated 16 per cent market share of Australia's home garden products industry, with major markets in New South Wales and Queensland and a growing presence in South Australia and Victoria. For the past business year to June, Envirogreen's sales totalled about A$29 million ($172 million). For the same period, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) reached about A$2.8 million. The acquisition price is about equivalent to 6.5 times ebitda. 'We are keen to develop the group's business in sustainable farming, and we have identified Australia as our primary market because of its strong environmental conscience,' Mr Kam said. The group plans to expand the operations of the new subsidiary by enlarging its sales networks through superstores, extended product lines and by bringing new manufacturing and logistics facilities on stream. CK Life Sciences, which has a history of earning more from financial markets than from its core business, said it would continue to seek acquisitions of profit-making firms in the agricultural products industry. Mr Kam said that the firm was negotiating with several potential targets for acquisition. Last month, CK Life bought a Canadian natural health products company, whose net profit last year was C$4.1 million ($25.5 million), for $347 million. First-quarter net profit at CK Life soared 54.84 per cent year on year to $576,000 as strong sales helped offset sluggish investment returns. Turnover jumped 79.8 per cent to $104.66 million as sales surged to $62.18 million from $17.52 million. CK Life bought four overseas companies last year, including a mainland fertiliser distribution network, two fertiliser companies in South Australia and a water plant in Victoria, Australia.