Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Matol Aligning with Univera

Matol Aligning with Univera
Oldest Canadian Multilevel Company
Will Merge Network, Products

January 14th, 2009
In a press release published today Univera announced their acquisition of the Matol Botanical International brand, as well as their distributor network and product line. The release stated that Univera had "...entered into a binding agreement to acquire specific assets and the distributor network..." of Matol. The "strategic alliance" involves the merging of the Matol distributor organization into the Univera network and compensation plan, as well as the combining of the two product lines.

The full press release can be found here:



I've always been a big fan of Matol and considered them to be one of the good guys in the network marketing industry. I've also enjoyed their Km product, practically to the point of addiction back in the mid-90s. It would seem to go without saying that Km would be adopted by any acquirer of Matol's product line, but when the acquirer has their own liquid botanical product (Univera's is called Xtra), and such an assurance to present Matol distributors was curiously absent from the press release, it does require saying. Based on my conversation with Matol Chairman and CEO Robert Bolduc, Km will certainly remain as one of the key flagship products in the combined line. Also, Univera is only acquiring the distributor network and product line. All other aspects of Matol Botanical International will still exist (R&D, medical division, etc.). In fact, Matol still intends to celebrate their 25th anniversary this summer.

Matol launched in 1984 and experienced strong momentum from the late '80s to mid '90s. Corporate conflicts resulted in the departure of Sam Kalenuik and Anthony Jurak, both members of senior management who subsequently launched their own competing companies. This was soon followed by the departure of the Boreyko family from atop their distributor ranks, who went on to found New Vision (Vemma). By the late 90s, when the entire industry's growth was slowing, Matol had also slumped considerably. Matol's opportunity for a resurgence in the new century was likely hampered by the onslaught of competitive "jungle juices" that now pervade this industry. This is in spite of the fact that Matol's Km was actually the pioneer of the "nutritional beverage" product category (this was almost two decades before the Noni juice craze began).

Univera was launched in 1999 as Oasis Wellness Network, which changed their name to Oasis LifeSciences in 2004, and in early 2006 changed their name again to Univera LifeSciences. In 2001 their was a cyber-net cast into the internet, jointly conducted by the FTC and FDA, called "Operation Cure.all" which snagged a couple of network marketing companies for making medical claims. Oasis was one of them. Today both Univera's and Matol's web sites and marketing materials appear to be clean of any such claims.

Len Clements
Founder & CEO
MarketWave, Inc.

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