One of Britain’s largest private pet food brands could be about to change hands for over £100m.
Jollyes, which sells pet food, toys and vet services from 70 UK outlets, is owned by private equity firm Kester Capital. Bosses at the buy-out specialist are said to be working with Houlihan Lokey on “strategic options” for the business.
The development comes amid a flurry of merger and acquisition activity in the UK pet-related sector, which is now valued at £5.9bn.
In June, FTSE 250-listed veterinary product maker Dechra Pharmaceuticals was taken private by the Swedish private equity firm EQT in a £4.5bn deal in which the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority also had a stake.
And in September, General Atlantic, a US-based growth equity specialist, put £280m into home delivery dog food company Butternut Box.
The Sunday Times reported that Butcher’s Pet Care, an upmarket dog food maker, could also be looking to cash in on the spate of interest in pet food brands from private equity firms and food conglomerates.
One such food giant, Nestle, has subsumed a raft of pet food companies in the past few years, including Lily’s Kitchen and a manufacturing plant owned by Red Collar Pet Foods, both of which now fall under the Swiss company’s Purina PetCare umbrella.
Twelve million UK households own pets, according to corporate financier Clearwater International, which argues the growth in the pet business industry is down to an increase in ‘humanisation’ of animals, meaning owners are likely to spend more money on them.
Jollyes was approached for comment.