International private equity firm, Cinven, today announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire Partner in Pet Food (‘PPF’), a leading European pet food manufacturer, for an undisclosed amount.

Headquartered in Hungary, PPF is a market-leading pet food manufacturer with nine manufacturing operations across Europe. PPF supplies pet food to more than 250 customers in Europe, including traditional retailers, discounters, speciality pet retailers and online specialists. Its product range covers the main categories of dog and cat food including wet and dry food including single serve products. Established in 1999, the company employs more than 1,400 people and produces more than 450,000 tons of pet food per annum, distributed across 38 countries in Europe.

Cinven’s Consumer team identified PPF as an attractive investment opportunity given:

  • Pet food represents a large and resilient market, with growth underpinned by long-term trends such as the rise in pet ownership; owners buying specialist pet food; and a shift towards more premium products. The €23 billion European pet food market is forecast to continue growing at a sustained pace over the coming years;
  • PPF is a market-leading player with well-invested, pan-European production capabilities and a strong reputation for quality, reliability and innovation;
  • Attractive growth opportunities exist for PPF across its core markets throughout Europe, working together with its retail partners to deliver innovative and quality products across offline and online channels;
  • PPF has a proven track record of strong financial performance and cash-flow generation through the economic cycle, and dynamic revenue growth over the past five years;
  • A fragmented European market for pet food manufacturers represents an opportunity for PPF to participate in consolidation and capitalise on Cinven’s strong buy and build expertise, building on PPF’s existing operations; and
  • The business is managed by an exceptional team, led by Chairman and CEO Attila Balogh, together with his team, since 2009.

Maxim Crewe, Partner at Cinven, commented:

“PPF represents an opportunity to acquire one of the leading pet food manufacturers in Europe, which has demonstrated sustained growth through the cycle under its management team, led by Attila Balogh. The Cinven Consumer team has been reviewing the fast-growing pet care market for some time and we believe that PPF is well placed to continue supporting its retail partners in capitalising on this growth across both traditional retail channels as well as online.”

Matteo Corà, Senior Principal at Cinven, added:

“The European pet food market is one of the most attractive spaces in the wider consumer sector. Strong demand for pet food products – and premium products in particular – is being driven by the increased ‘humanisation’ of pets; owners want to give their pets healthier foods in a more convenient way. PPF is a highly successful business with further opportunities for growth organically, leveraging its production capabilities and track record for product innovation, and through acquisition.”

Chairman and CEO of PPF, Attila Balogh, said:

“Our mission at PPF is to provide a full range of high quality pet food products and to be the number one pet food producer in Europe. We have a great business model and are very proud of our customer relationships, the quality of our products, our European production network and innovation track record. We now have an opportunity to grow the business further and are delighted to partner with the team at Cinven to drive further organic growth, as well as focus on buy and build opportunities, in order to offer new products and reach a wider range of customers.”

Within the Consumer sector, Cinven recently acquired Planasa, a leading plant variety and nursery operators for berries worldwide to capitalise on the growth in the health and wellness consumer segment.

In addition to PPF and Planasa, Cinven’s other current Consumer sector investments are:

  • Allegro, a leading online marketplace in Poland (January 2017); and
  • Kurt Geiger, a retailer of footwear and accessories in Europe (February 2016).

Completion of the acquisition of PPF is subject to Workers Council and customary regulatory approvals.

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