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TDR Capital buys majority control of pet chain Jollyes

Asda co-owner TDR Capital has snapped up control of pet shop chain Jollyes.

The private equity firm, which also owns pub group Stonegate and David Lloyd Leisure, has bought a majority stake in the company from previous owner Kester Capital.

Former Asda boss Andy Bond, who will become Jollyes’ chairman, and company management will also take stakes in the business.

Jollyes said the deal will allow it to speed up its store expansion plan across the UK as it seeks to take on Pets at Home.

The retailer currently has 99 stores across the country and will open its 100th site later this week.

Joe Wykes, chief executive officer, said it has been opening sites at a rate of one a month but believes it can roughly double this following the investment.

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“We are really excited to have made the deal with TDR as we felt they really clearly understood the business and our customers,” he told PA.

“We now have the right financing to allow us to accelerate the site-opening regime.

“The next phase will involve a lot of aspects, including finding the right sites, and parts of that can take time, but we know there are opportunities out there.”

He said the new owners share their belief that there is an opportunity to close on the sector’s largest retailer, Pets at Home.

Jollyes - Groomer - Hull
The chain, which has 99 shops, also runs grooming services from stores (Jollyes/PA)

Mr Wykes said: “At around 100 sites, for a second-largest group, there is still quite a gap between us and Pets at Home and their 400-plus shops.

“Demand recently has continued to be really positive, I think partly because of our value proposition, so I think this just puts us in a really good place moving forward.”

The acquisition deal is expected to complete in April.

Gary Lindsay, managing partner at TDR Capital, said: “In Jollyes, we identified a solid business with excellent foundations and significant potential to grow even more ambitiously in the years to come.

“We are confident that Jollyes can further cement itself in the pet retail sector and increase the competitiveness of the market, which will benefit customers, colleagues and suppliers alike.”

Adam Maidment, managing partner at Kester Capital, said: “I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved with Jollyes.

“We have doubled the workforce, doubled the revenue and more than doubled the profitability, building one of the largest speciality pet retailers in the country.”