New Jersey-based Mushroom Wisdom, Inc. (MWI) announced that 100 percent of the company shares have been acquired by Hokuto Corporation (Hokuto), Japan’s top mushroom cultivator. The transaction includes the acquisition of Sun Medica, Co., Ltd (SM), MWI’s affiliate in Japan. Both MWI and SM were founded by Mike Shirota and Tomoko Nakamura in 1991 and 1995 respectively and the majority of both corporate stocks were owned by Mike Shirota. Hokuto now owns 100 percent of both MWI and SM. Donna Noonan will remain as a president of MWI and Tomoko Nakamura will stay as a vice president of SM in Japan. Mike Shirota will be involved with the operation of MWI as an advisor.
MWI is the pioneer that introduced mushroom-based dietary supplements in the U.S. market and has taken a significant role in building the mushroom supplement industry in this country and has been the market leader for the last 25 years. MWI is well known as a research-oriented company who has devoted itself to the basic and clinical studies of medicinal mushrooms to disseminate a variety of health benefits of mushrooms to the American health conscious consumers. Maitake D-fraction is its first proprietary extract of Maitake Mushroom, developed by the company in the 1990s and has been regarded as one of the leading supplement products for enhancing immune system function for the last two decades.* SX- fraction is another proprietary extract of Maitake that has been researched to support healthy blood sugar and insulin function. * The latest hit of the company is Amyloban, an active constituent extracted from Lion’s Mane Mushroom, that supports healthy brain function, including memory and cognitive support.* The right of all intellectual property owned by MWI, including various registered patents in Japan, US and world-wide, is also transferred to Hokuto.
Hokuto is one of the biggest Japanese mushroom enterprises listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange with annual sales of about $600 million (U.S.), producing a variety of culinary mushrooms such as Maitake, Shiitake, Shimeji, Trumpet Mushroom, Agaricus blazei, etc. Hokuto built General Mushroom Research Institute in Japan in 1983, where various studies on mushrooms ranging from the cultivation of new mushroom species to the development of new culture media have been conducted. The institute has also been involved with studies on various bioactivities of medicinal mushrooms. It claims that the combined expertise on accumulated mushroom research of both companies would represent an important strategic opportunity to get involved with a healthcare industry including dietary supplement business both in Japan and the USA, while contributing to maintaining a healthy life style of people living today.
MWI also believes that the acquisition has a strong synergy in terms of the strengthening of its financial basis and utilization of the business resources of Hokuto to further expand its business. The acquisition will help SM to facilitate its sales forces in marketing its products through Hokuto’s extensive sales network in Japan.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.