VAFO Group Acquires Pooch & Mutt in the United Kingdom

VAFO Group, a pet food manufacturer based in the Czech Republic, acquired Pooch & Mutt, a pet food brand based in the United Kingdom, on July 11, 2023. VAFO Group has invested in Pooch & Mutt since 2020. The acquisition makes Pooch & Mutt the UK representative for VAFO’s manufacturing capabilities.

Transaction Summary

The Facts of the Acquisition

  • Target: Pooch & Mutt is a pet food brand operating in the United Kingdom and Germany and has grown aggressively. VAFO (acquirer) serves as Pooch & Mutt’s offshore supplier and producer.
  • Acquirer: VAFO is a pet food manufacturer based in the Czech Republic. It produces 200,000 tons of pet food annually. In recent years VAFO has seen substantial growth in sales. Using these proceeds, it has taken stakes in, or acquired, companies it supplies. It has had a stake in Pooch & Mutt (target) since 2020.

Our Take on the Acquisition

The global pet food industry is worth USD $320 billion and is expected to reach USD $493 billion by 2030, a 54% increase, according to Bloomberg. Additionally, Europe, a key demographic for Czech Republic-based VAFO, accounts for more than 30% of the global pet care and pet food market. With this in mind, VAFO has been prudent enough to reinvest its profits into brands it acquires and supplies in Finland, Germany, and now the United Kingdom. While there may not be synergies in this acquisition, acquiring successful and growing clients will make VAFO’s sales more robust and increase its sales margins.

The Transaction

Date:July 11, 2023
Purpose: To expand into retail in the United Kingdom.
Acquirer’s Statement:Guy Blaskey, founder of Pooch & Mutt and member of VAFO Group’s management team“Unlike many corporate takeovers, this is not an exercise in efficiencies and cost-cutting. VAFO has supported our growth over the last few years, during which time we have trebled our staff, quadruped our turnover and developed a whole host of amazing new products. The success is not just about the Pooch & Mutt brand. As part of the VAFO family we are the UK representatives for all of their manufacturing capabilities, which are the best and broadest in the European pet food market. We are working with them to supply some of the largest retailers in the country.”

Target/Seller: Pooch & Mutt

Company Information

Target:Pooch & Mutt
Industry: Pet Food Sales
Employees:34 (Self-published on LinkedIn)
Investors:VAFO Group: A pet food manufacturer based in the Czech Republic 
Locations:Office: 2 Scout Lane, London, United Kingdom
Head Office: Timson Business Centre, Bath Road, Kettering, Northants, United Kingdom

Product Information 

Products:Pet Food for Cats – Cat food made with natural ingredients and no GMO products, grains, or added sugar
Pet Food for Dogs – Dog food made with natural ingredients and no GMO products, grains, or added sugar
Market Reach:United Kingdom

Financial Information 

Revenue:USD $14.3 million (Unconfirmed Source: Pomanda, a company information supplier)
Revenue per Employee:USD $420,588 (i.e., USD $14.3 million / 34 employees = USD $420,588 – estimated based on the self-published number of employees and the revenue from Pomanda)

Did You Know?

Both wet and dry food can provide nutritionally balanced diets. The main difference is the way the food is processed. Wet food starts with meat ingredients as a protein source, then gravy containing vitamins, minerals, and grain is added. Once mixed, the food is cooked and sterilized to produce the canned product. In dry food, the meat is pulverized to create a consistent dough that is then cooked.

Target/Seller Overview: Pooch & Mutt

Pooch & Mutt was founded in 2007 by Guy Blaskey. Guy’s family dog, Cookie, was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at three months old, and Guy was told his dog would need a hip replacement by the time she was three years old. Cookie was treated with a natural joint supplement for horses, made by Guy’s mother’s company, Blue Chip Feed. The product worked amazingly, so Guy decided he had to reformulate and repackage it for dogs, so Pooch & Mutt was born.

Working with some of the top nutritionists in the United Kingdom, Guy developed the Pooch & Mutt food range to not only cut out the junk of mass-produced pet foods, but to include positive nutrition such as supplements and nutraceuticals, to help dogs lead happy, healthy lives.

Pooch & Mutt sells high-quality cat and dog foods in the United Kingdom.

Buyer/Acquirer: VAFO Group

Company Information

Buyer:VAFO Group
Industry: Animal Feed Manufacturing
Employees:800 (Source: company website)
Location:Czech Republic
Head Office and Factory: K Brudku 94, Chrastany, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
Factory #2: Ujezdec 104, 389 01 Cicenice, Czech Republic
Factory #3: Primyslova 229, 39137 Chotoviny, Czech Republic
Factory #4: Chelcice 106, 38901 Chelcice, Czech Republic
Factory #5: Velky Ratmirov 46, 37701 Velky Ratmirov, Czech Republic
Warehouse: Business Park Rudna, Skladovy areal c.19, K Vypichu 1498, 252 19 Rudna u Prahy, Czech Republic

Factory #6: Ebavere, 46209 Laane-Viru County, Estonia

Prima Pet Premium Head Office and Warehouse: Kolismaankatu 5, 33300 Tampere, Finland
Factory: Metsolantie 1, 37150, Nokia, Finland

Allco Head Office and Warehouse: Muggenort 15a, 27321 Thedinghausen, Germany

Factory #7: Trzebielino 32A, 77235 Trzebielino, Poland

Regional Office and Warehouse: Sjoangsvagen 1C, 19272 Sollentuna, Stockholm, Sweden

Product Information 

Products:Pet Food for Cats – Cat food made with natural ingredients and no GMO products, grains, or added sugar
Pet Food for Dogs – Dog food made with natural ingredients and no GMO products, grains, or added sugar
Pet Food for Fish – Feed for carp, koi, trout, sturgeon, goldfish, and other small pond fish
Market Reach:Brands sold in 87 countries
United States
Canada, and others

Financial Information 

Revenue:USD $500 million (Source: company website)
Revenue per Employee:USD $625,000 (i.e., USD $500 million / 800 employees = USD $625,000 – estimated based on the number of employees and revenue from the company website) 

Buyer/Acquirer Overview: VAFO Group

VAFO Group is a leading European premium pet food producer. Established in 1994, the second-generation family business has more than 25 years of history. The company is headquartered in the Czech Republic, with subsidiaries in Finland, Germany, Sweden, Poland, and Estonia. VAFO’s core activity is the production and distribution of pet food, under its own brands and as a private-label business. It sells more than 200,000 tons annually. Its product portfolio includes dry foods, wet foods, snacks, and supplements for dogs, cats, and small animals. The group’s leading top-quality brands Brit, Carnilove, HauHau, PrimaDog, PrimaCat, Christopherus, Profine, Sam’s Field, Planet Pet, Canvit, Nutrican, Country Dog, Freddy, and Let’s Bite are available in more than 87 countries.

VAFO produces leading, top-quality pet food brands.
VAFO operates factories in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, and Finland.

Previous Acquisitions by VAFO Group

  • Prima Pet Premium (2018) – A manufacturer, importer, and wholesaler of pet foods, based in Tampere, Finland
  • Allco (2017) – A seller of high-quality, premium food, based in Germany

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