Founded in 2009, Pet Food UK sells high quality and distinctively branded premium dog and cat pet food and treats in the UK and internationally. Its key brands, “Barking Heads” for dogs and “Meowing Heads” for cats, are predominantly premium natural pet food ranges formulated with the highest quality ingredients. The brands are synonymous with quirky names such as ‘Fat Dog Slim’ and ‘So-fish-ticated Salmon’, highly distinctive packaging, and strong consumer loyalty. In 2014, PFUK introduced the “AATU" brand, an uber-premium product following the 80/20 rule (80% meat, 20% vegetables), which was the world’s first single protein source dry pet food.
IPN, best known for its high-quality natural dog meals and pet treats under the “Harringtons” and “Wagg” brands, was acquired byinternational investment firm and buy-and-build specialist CapVest in December 2020. The acquisition of PFUK is the start of an ambitious growth strategy, which will see IPN build scale and internationalise over the coming years.
James Lawson, CEO of IPN, said: “We are very excited to acquire PFUK, which is highly complementary to our business and our values. This acquisition is consistent with our vision to create a unique portfolio of loved and sustainable pet care brands helping make quality pet care affordable and accessible to all. PFUK brings to IPN highly recognised super and uber-premium brands with a strong digital presence to augment our strong product portfolio and distribution channels. We are impressed by the great progress of PFUK in recent years and we look forward to welcoming the team and further supporting the company to continue to grow.”
Kate Briant, CapVest Partner said: “Pet Food UK is a fantastic addition to IPN which helps broaden and supplement our offering. It adds high quality brands to the portfolio, creates access to new segments and geographies and unlocks more distribution channels to further enhance our growth prospects. We are very pleased to support IPN with its first step in what we hope will be an active acquisition-led growth strategy.”
Piper Investment Director, Rory Gibbs, said: “We are very proud of the team we helped to build at Pet Food UK. Through our partnership with them we were able to deliver significant growth, doubling sales and developing the brand into a digital first business. At investment only 10% of sales in the UK came from digital channels. This has increased to nearly 60%, with 30% of revenue coming from international markets. The interest in Pet Food UK is testimony to the appeal of its brands (Barking Heads, Meowing Heads and AATU), the quality of its pet food and the work done in recent years to build a loyal customer base. We are delighted to see Pet Food UK join IPN, who share its values and commitment to the high-standards of product quality, innovation and sustainability, and we know the company and its brands will continue to flourish under their ownership.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to conditions, and it is expected that the transaction will be completed in the coming weeks.
IPN was advised by DLA Piper (legal), OC&C (commercial) and KPMG (finance & tax).
Piper and the other selling shareholders of Pet Food UK were advised by Houlihan Lokey (Corporate Finance) and Womble Bond Dickinson (Legal).
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