Ciabatta queen to launch female condom

THE business woman who brought Italian ciabatta bread to Britain is planning to introduce a new form of female contraception to the UK.

Peggy Czyzak-Dannenbaum is chairman and chief executive of Veos, the company that owns and distributes the revolutionary Oves female barrier contraceptive, a cap made of silicone rather than the traditional latex.

Tomorrow, Veos is due to be floated on the Alternative Investment Market and announce that it has raised pounds 6.5m of new capital via an institutional placing of 9.15 million shares at 71p each, valuing the company at pounds 16.2m. The flotation will officially launch Veos, but the Oves product is not due to be launched in Britain until mid-2000.

Ms Czyzak-Dannenbaum says that a comprehensive sales and marketing programme is planned over the coming months to prepare for the product's introduction into the UK. Oves has been approved by GMED, the French regulatory body, which entitles it to bear Community of Europe marking and enables it to be marketed throughout Europe.

"The Oves contraceptive cap concept has been in development for more than a decade and represents one of the most exciting breakthroughs in contraception since the Pill," said Ms Czyzak-Dannenbaum.

"It has been very well received in France, and we can now look forward to converting the potential of the product elsewhere in Europe and internationally."

Veos is not the first company that Ms Czyzak-Dannenbaum has founded. She set up and was managing director of La Fornia bakery and also ran CDM Holdings, the investor in small food businesses. She has previous experience in health matters through her work as vice-chairman of the Wellhouse NHS Trust Hospitals. Her past experience has improved confidence in the City that Veos will succeed.

Ms Czyzak-Dannenbaum is also a member of the exclusive club, the Committee of 200. Known as C200 for short, the committee is made up of high-achieving businesswomen who pride themselves on helping each other out. They share expertise and advise other businesswomen who are not as well established in their careers.