Futura Medical Plc (FUM) is in talks to pair the U.K. company’s erection-boosting gel with condoms for sale in markets including China and Brazil.
Executives have met with counterparts at seven condom brands in Asia and other emerging markets as part of a plan to grab as much as a “mid-teens” percentage of the $4 billion global condom market, Chief Executive Officer James Barder said in an interview yesterday. The deals will probably be announced in the next year.
The unprofitable Guildford, England-based company this year teamed with Church & Dwight Co. (CHD:US) to sell condoms with Futura’s Zanifil gel in North America and in some European countries. The partners will be able to charge as much as double the price of regular condoms when they arrive in those markets early next year, Barder said.
The CSD500 condom contains Futura’s Zanifil gel and is designed to produce firmer, larger and longer-lasting erections. Dubbed “Viagra in a condom,” the product may have wider implications for public health, especially in markets where sexually transmitted infections are high, Barder said. Condom use causes erection loss in about 30 percent of men, so the product may win over those who would otherwise refuse to wear them, he said.
“Maximum hardness is not just a sexual enhancement issue,” Barder said. “The health-care aspect has been overshadowed by the benefit of sexual enhancement.”
Futura shares fell 7.5 percent to close at 74 pence yesterday in London trading. The stock has gained 27 percent this year.
Futura yesterday announced a partnership with an unnamed firm to sell the condoms in Middle East and North African countries and this week won backing to sell the product in most countries in Europe. Barder said the global condom market is growing as much as 7 percent a year and Futura has “another half of the world to go yet.”
While Futura has been approached by two or three potential suitors, Barder said he wants to reach profitability before considering a potential sale. He declined to name the suitors.
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