DULUTH, Ga.—Vystar Corp. is moving into the product manufacturing arena.
The creator and producer of Vytex natural rubber latex has agreed to merge with EcoGlove Asia Pacific Sdn. Bhd., an inventor and maker of sustainable, reusable examination gloves.
The proposal is nonbinding and subject to the completion of due diligence by both Vystar and EcoGlove. Terms of the merger have not been finalized, the firms said, but both companies are hoping to complete the deal by Sept. 30.
Headquartered in Duluth, Ga., Vystar's Vytex is a patented, all-natural raw material that the company said significantly reduces antigenic proteins found in natural rubber latex. The merged business will keep its central offices in Georgia, said William R. Doyle, Vystar chairman and CEO.
Sabah, Malaysia-based EcoGlove is a specialty producer of reusable medical Trace gloves. The firm said it provides innovative reprocessing technology—called Glove-Unique Reprocessing Unit, or GURU—to its customers that enables the gloves to be used multiple times.
EcoGlove is a current customer of Vystar; its Trace gloves are made with a pure eight grams of Vytex. About a half-million of the Trace gloves have been produced, and the product line will enter the trial stage in August.
Once the merger is finalized, the combined company will likely get a new name, according to Doyle, who will serve as CEO of the united firm. It's also likely Vystar will remain part of that name.
Jack Callicutt, Vystar's chief financial officer, will hold the same post with the new operation, and the founder of EcoGlove and inventor of Trace gloves, Patrick Hampe, will become a member of the new firm's board of directors as will Datuk Nyip Shen Tham, the current EcoGlove CEO and chairman.
Dan Swiger, the founder and former president and chairman of Yulex Corp., has joined Vystar as chief operating officer, a position he'll continue to hold at the new company.
In 1997, Swiger launched Yulex, based in Arizona, as a start-up company and exclusive licensee of a patented process for making hypoallergenic guayule latex developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He left the firm about six years later.
The merger with EcoGlove not only will allow Vystar to become a manufacturer, but the company will gain access to a ready supply of rubber latex, Doyle said.
“It will take us into a whole new way of operating Ã and add a strong base in Malaysia,” he said. “We get a primary product, but we have others in the works. The merger gives us vertical integration from start to finish.”
EcoGlove is aligned with Vystar's philosophy “of providing quality, cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable solutions for our clients,” he said, adding that he values the Malaysian firm's business model.
EcoGlove, on the other hand, gains a steady supply of Vytex and Vystar's strong marketing presence, a base in the U.S. and Vystar's technical advisory board, which, according to Doyle, “is second to none; all are experts in the health care industry.” The advisory board has been in place for four years.
“We have developed relationships with Vystar and Bill Doyle over the past few years and have a strong affinity for their capabilities and core values,” Tham said. “We feel Vytex NRL is a superior product that will add considerable leverage to our business model.”
Currently, EcoGlove outsources the manufacturing of its gloves but the merged firm plans to open its own plant in the future, Doyle said.
In addition, he said, Vystar is looking at adding other premium raw materials to its product line and significantly broadening its offerings down the road.
Meanwhile, Vystar has already outsourced the production of Vytex latex pillows to a company in Guatemala. The next step for that product will be to conduct market research, Doyle said.
All license transactions made by Vystar with other companies will remain in place, he said. “We made sure of that beforehand. In fact, (the merger) enhances the licenses we have in place with Vytex.”