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Great Spirit Ventures Acquires The Natural Dentist (R)

MILL VALLEY, Calif., April 4, 2005 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Great Spirit Ventures, LLC has acquired The Natural Dentist(R), adding the nationally distributed maker of botanically-active oral care products to its portfolio of growth companies that address the emerging health and wellness marketplace.

"We feel that The Natural Dentist has a highly credible and attractive product line which can benefit from the increased exposure our capital and brand expertise will stimulate," said William Rosenzweig, Managing Partner of Great Spirit Ventures (GSV). "Every day, more and more people are taking a proactive approach to their own health care and seeking out remedies that integrate natural ingredients with scientifically proven therapeutic benefits. The Natural Dentist has a portfolio of great science-driven solutions just waiting to be discovered."

Clinically proven to combat gum disease, reduce gingivitis and promote general oral health, The Natural Dentist mouth rinse and toothpaste products are recommended by a growing number of dentists, periodontists, oral surgeons and dental hygienists. In clinical tests, The Natural Dentist mouth rinse killed germs significantly more effectively than a leading commercial mouthwash and was just as effective as the leading prescription product, without the harsh chemicals and teeth-staining side effects of the chemically derived products.

"We have seen many recent scientific studies which underscore the importance of effective oral care in maintaining overall wellness," said Jim Todd, Partner, Great Spirit Ventures. "We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to advance The Natural Dentist's mission to bring 'full-system' natural health to the oral care market."

The Natural Dentist was co-founded by Bill Stern, who continues as the Company's President. "With a growing understanding of the linkage between oral health and total-body wellness, Great Spirit Ventures will help us continue to create more innovative and efficacious products and bring them to increasing larger numbers of customers," said Stern. "We also look forward to leveraging key synergies between The Natural Dentist and the other companies in the GSV portfolio."

Retail sales of consumer packaged goods in the health and wellness sector totaled $68 billion in 2004, up 8.5% over 2003. Personal care is one of the industry's fastest growing sub-categories; 2004 personal care product sales totaled $4 billion, a 14% increase over the previous year.

"Consumer interest in natural personal care products is rapidly rising as consumers are increasingly focused on the quality, safety and efficacy of the health and wellness products they utilize. As the category continues to go mainstream, we expect expanded distribution across both the specialty and mass-market channels to drive double-digit category growth for the next several years," said Scott Van Winkle, Managing Director of Research and Healthy Living(R) analyst at Adams Harkness in Boston.

Great Spirit Ventures provides capital and strategic resources to early-stage companies that are breaking new ground in the food, natural products, healthcare and biotechnology industries. Recent GSV portfolio fundings include Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, which operates retail pharmacies that combine prescription drugs and natural therapies; Efficas, a biotechnology company that develops and markets proprietary nutritional bioactives for human and animal health; and Brand New Brands, a new venture incubator founded to develop and market next-generation functional foods and beverages.

About Great Spirit Ventures

Great Spirit Ventures (GSV) is an early-stage venture capital fund committed to enhancing the growth of exceptional companies in the branded consumer products, health care, and biotechnology industries. Launched in 2003, Great Spirit Ventures is the wholly-owned venture development capability of the A.M. Todd Group, a 135 year-old firm specializing in food flavors, ingredients, and specialty agriculture. A.M. Todd's research and development capabilities augment GSV's private equity and venture development expertise to provide portfolio companies with the capital, knowledge, network, and services necessary for success.

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