JDH investors put their capital to work in our spread of subsidiary companies:
- Vinguard Limited
- Lazaron Biotechnologies Limited
- Cryo-Save South Africa (Pty) Ltd
- Viscacom (Pty) Ltd
Founded in 2004, Vinguard is a public company with over 300 shareholders, its primary business being the production of a patented insert which is used when packaging table grapes. This innovative product helps to eliminate fungal infections and prolongs the shelf life of the grapes.
High SO2 residue levels on table grapes are unacceptable to both the global table grape consumer and an increasing number of governments and regulating bodies around the world. Retailers are striving to supply their customers with healthier and higher quality fruit on an on-going basis – and this has prompted Vinguard’s innovative work.
The Vinguard TM two stage SO2 generating sheet was developed over a period of 7 years at Stellenbosch University and has been in commercial use globally for five years. The research was conducted in conjunction with the South African Deciduous Fruit Producers Trust and local table grape farmers. The technology that flowed from this research was both new and innovative, utilising current and up to date knowledge in the fields of polymer science and membrane transfer theory, with a key focus on minimising
SO2 residue levels. This makes the product unarguably the most advanced SO2 generating sheet on the international market.
The Vinguard manufacturing facility comprises a one of a kind, fully automated plant capable of manufacturing in excess of 40 000 000 sheets per annum. This plant was designed and built by Vinguards’ in-house team of engineers and polymer scientists in conjunction with leading experts in the fields of mechanical, electronic and electrical
engineering, production flow logistics, heat transfer technology and flow dynamics.
The manufacturing process contains both automated and manual quality control tests designed to ensure that every VinguardTM two stage SO2 generating sheet is produced according to strict specification.
The Vinguard two stage SO2 gas generating sheet represents the latest technology in the field of controlled release. SO2 gas is released through a monolithic release mechanism, similar to release systems used in the pharmaceutical industry, and can be controlled and manipulated to suit any client’s specific requirements. The VinguardTM two stage SO2 gas generating sheet has been independently tested by The Volcani Institute in Israel and found to have the lowest SO2 residue level of any SO2 gas generating sheet in use, while still acting as an effective fungicide. The sheets’ SO2 residue levels was found to be less than 2 ppm after a ten week period, and this was achieved without decreasing the VinguardTM two stage So2 gas generating sheets efficacy as a fungicide.
The VinguardTM two stage SO2 gas generating sheet has been approved for use by all major UK supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury. In addition to this the VinguardTM SO2 generating sheet has also been accredited by numerous international buyers and exporters including Richard Hochfeld, Prima Fruit, Gomez and International Produce.
LAZARON BIOTECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
(Registration no. 2004/004630/06)
Lazaron Biotechnologies is a public company supported by over 600 shareholders and was the first cord stem cell bank in South Africa. As such, it has provided services to thousands of parents since 2005.
The company operates from a laboratory in Cape Town which is currently being taken over by Cryo-Save South Africa. In the future, the company will focus increasingly on the marketing of stem call storage – and with this in mind has strategic alliances in the South African medical industry which has entrenched the company and its products as an industry standard.
Cord blood is generally defined as blood contained within the umbilical cord and contiguous placental circulation. The stem cells harvested from this source help the embryo develop into a fully grown baby. As the baby develops, the umbilical cord and the populating red blood cells also grow and multiply to provide it with nutrition and oxygen. Cord stem cells can be harvested from the umbilical cord of new-born babies without any risk to mother or infant, and it is a painless procedure. The number of stem cells available for storage relates directly to the volume of cord blood that is collected after birth.
The cells can only be collected for a limited period immediately after birth and the non-invasive procedure takes the health care professional around five minutes to perform. The collection can be performed after either natural birth or caesarean section. The risk of viral infection in the stored stem cells is considered extremely low if adequate screening procedures are performed pre-birth. For this reason Lazaron requires the patient to undergo a series of blood tests between two and three weeks prior to delivery date, including Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis and Cytomegalo Virus. These tests can be performed at any registered pathology laboratory.
In terms of current medical knowledge, the probability of a young child requiring stem cells for a transplant is in the order of 1:2700. Umbilical cord stem cells are also the most suitable for donating to other family members, including a child’s parents.
Lazaron has further advanced its leadership in the field of stem cell technology with developments in animal research. This has resulted in, amongst other breakthroughs, advanced equine therapies. These developments have taken place in conjunction with leading South African universities and all facilities are divorced from the laboratory in Cape Town.
CRYO-SAVE SOUTH AFRICA (Pty) Ltd
(Registration no. 2010/000000/07)
The use of stem cell technology in the treatment of life threatening diseases has increased significantly over the past decade resulting in therapies for over 70 diseases now being applied. The use of cord blood as the source of stem cell is also increasing as can be seen from the chart below. In 27 states in the USA doctors are now required to inform prospective parents of the potential to harvest and store stem cells from the umbilical cord at birth. More recently the use of stem cells for cosmetic and post injury healing therapies have been established.
Cryo-Save NV is the largest European stem cell banking organisation and has subsidiaries or agents in over 40 countries around the world. Listed on the Dutch stock exchange, the company is an internationally recognised leader in the field of stem cell harvesting and storage.
Cryo-Save NV preforms most of its processing and storage in its state of the art laboratory in Niel Belgium which reached a milestone 200 000 storages in November 2011. Over and above this, JDH and Cryo-Save NV have entered into a joint venture to establish a fully-fledged stem cell harvesting and storage facility in Cape Town.
Cryo-Save SA provides for the harvesting and banking of stem cells from both cord blood (hematopoietic) as well as cord tissue (mesenchymal) locally. In addition the laboratory provides pre-shipment treatment of samples to be shipped and stored in Belgium eliminating the transport risk associated with international transport.
During its first two months of operation, Cryo-Save SA broke all previous records – improving substantially on the performance of the previous company which had been trading for over nine years.
VISCACOM (Pty) Ltd
Viscacom is a credit provider supplying financial and related instruments to the under banked and marginalised sectors of the South Africa economy and potentially, other countries on the African continent.
The current product offering is micro-credit, while the business model employed seeks to reduce the risk associated with the provision of credit to lower income classes. To do so, Viscacom contractually secures the recovery of loan monthly repayments through the employer’s payroll infrastructure.
The product makes use of the following system process:
- Viscacom identifies employers who wish to provide loans to employees through a third party.
- Viscacom and the employer enter into an agreement whereby employer agrees to deduct the repayment of the loan from the payroll run on behalf of the employee and pay the same across to Viscacom
- Viscacom then markets the service to the employees, ensuring that the contract with the employees entitles the employer to make the payroll deduction.
- The employer is paid an administration commission for each deduction.
The three parties involved – Viscacom, employers and employees – all benefit. A fundamental benefit to Viscacom and one which forms the foundation of the product’s success is the fact that loan repayment deductions occur prior to the employee receiving his/her disposable income.
Viscacom applies sound lending criteria including the evaluation of the employer as well as standard credit checking of the individual. An affordability test is then performed as per the NCA requirement. However, contrary to normal practice, only 50% of the resulting value of the potential loan amount is approved. In addition the employee must
have been employed by the employer for a period of more than six months