Sports fan muscles in on Kiam

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Sports enthusiast Barney Beresford-West is attempting to follow the footsteps of American entrepreneur Victor Kiam, who famously liked Remington razors so much he bought the company.

Mr Beresford-West was so impressed when a friend gave him a new muscle-warming cream, he bought the business and began a marathon to turn an unknown product into an international brand.

Now the chief executive of Biobas Active, which makes muscle and body care products for the sports and health and fitness industries, he believes he can build the company into a major retail chain.

"If we get this right it could be the Body Shop of the sports industry," said Mr Beresford-West.

Top athletes such as Tessa Sanderson and members of the British ski and snowboard teams found the products "positive", Biobas claims.

The company sells its products, which are based on natural oils, to more than 100 individual sports retailers and health and fitness clubs

Biobas hopes to spread awareness of its corporate persona and products by projecting its name at next year's London Marathon.

"It will lead to a wider awareness for the product and it will get our brand better known," said Mr Beresford-West.

The company, which has just started to distribute Biobas Active in the United States and New Zealand, hopes to reach profitability by March 2002 and is looking to raise £250,000 to speed up its expansion.

In 1998 the UK spent £3.7bn on sporting goods, according to consultancy firm Profile Sports Market. Biobas hopes to be able to get its slice.