Irving Place Buys Pet Supplies Plus

Irving Place Capital has agreed to acquire a majority stake in pet products retailer Pet Supplies Plus. No pricing terms were disclosed, although LBO Wire previously reported that the deal would include around $80 million in equity (including $18m from management). Debt financing was committed by BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and KeyBanc Capital Markets.

PRESS RELEASE

Irving Place Capital (“IPC”), a leading middle-market private equity firm, announced today an agreement to acquire Pet Supplies “Plus” (“PSP”), the third largest pet specialty retailer in the United States. Irving Place Capital will be investing in partnership with PSP’s CEO Harvey Solway, COO Dominic Buccellato and CFO Richard Valade. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2010.

Founded in 1988, PSP currently operates 240 franchised stores in 22 states, primarily in the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast. Following the transaction, 92 stores will be converted to company-operated stores, with the remaining stores continuing as franchised stores. The transaction will also include the acquisition of a captive distribution business that supplies pet food and other products exclusively to PSP’s stores.

Harvey Solway, CEO of Pet Supplies “Plus”, said, “Irving Place Capital’s experience partnering with management and its strong track record working with growth-oriented consumer and retail companies made the firm the right private equity partner for PSP. We believe IPC’s relevant expertise and substantial capital support will be critical during this exciting time for the company as we execute against our growth strategy.”

Retail and consumer products investments are a key focus and strength for Irving Place Capital. The firm’s notable retail and consumer products investments have included Aéropostale, New York & Company, The Vitamin Shoppe, Seven for All Mankind and Stuart Weitzman.

Rick Perkal, a Senior Managing Director at Irving Place Capital, said, “Pet Supplies ‘Plus’ is a highly successful, regionally-focused specialty retailer operating in a stable and attractive segment of the consumer economy that has demonstrated consistent growth throughout the recent economic downturn. We believe PSP is ideally positioned to capitalize on growth opportunities through new store rollouts and opportunistic franchise acquisitions.”

The transaction has fully committed debt financing from BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and KeyBanc Capital Markets. BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Irving Place Capital in the transaction.

About Pet Supplies “Plus”

Pet Supplies “Plus” was established in 1988 by veterans of the retail grocery industry who sought to introduce a pet specialty retail concept that provided a broad array of products and services comparable to big box pet retailers at competitive prices but in a smaller footprint and more convenient locations. Today, PSP is the third largest pet specialty retailer in the United States by total system sales, providing a wide variety of pet food, treats, hard goods and services for dogs, cats and small animals. The company is headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan. More information about Pet Supplies “Plus” is available at www.petsuppliesplus.com.

Irving Place Capital

Irving Place Capital invests private equity capital in compelling buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth capital opportunities alongside superior management teams. Irving Place Capital focuses on making control or entrepreneur-driven investments. Since its formation in 1997, Irving Place Capital has been an investor in more than 50 companies and has raised over $4 billion of equity capital, including its current $2.7 billion institutional fund. More information about Irving Place Capital is available at www.irvingplacecapital.com.