Acquisition by a business of one or more other business that are between the acquiring firm and its customers. For example, a manufacturer purchases a distributor. Forward integration is a type of vertical integration. Compare backward integration
Natural health care products company Comvita purchased its Hong Kong distributor GreenLife Ltd. for NZ$9.03 million in 2007. The New Zealand-based company paid $2.2 million in cash and the balance in stock in an effort to enhance growth into China and neighboring Asian countries. Comvita's chairman indicated the forward integration with GreenLife's retail stores, sales staff, and in-store promoters would allow the firm to quickly and effectively launch new products into the Asian market. Comvita had undertaken a similar acquisition in the United Kingdom two years earlier in order to expand into the European Union.