L Catterton sells Inspired Pet Nutrition to CapVest Partners

Inspire Pet Foods' Harringtons brand has become the U.K.'s fastest-growing major dry dog food brand under L Catterton's hold.

L Catterton has agreed to sell Inspired Pet Nutrition, a pet food manufacturer in the U.K., to CapVest Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Harris Williams advised Inspired Pet Nutrition, while Rabobank and Lincoln International advised CapVest. Rothschild assisted CapVest with debt advisory services.

PRESS RELEASE

GREENWICH, Conn. and LONDON, Dec. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — L Catterton, the largest and most global consumer-focused private equity firm in the world, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Inspired Pet Nutrition (“IPN”), the U.K.’s leading independent pet food platform, to funds managed by CapVest Partners LLP (“CapVest”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

IPN, best known for its dry dog food and pet treats under the Harringtons and Wagg brands, is a third-generation family enterprise which has become a market leader within the U.K. pet food landscape. Since investing in the Company in March 2015, L Catterton worked closely with Richard Page, IPN’s Chairman, to promote exceptional individuals from within and to recruit industry-leading executives into the IPN franchise. With L Catterton’s support, this talented team significantly expanded IPN’s manufacturing acumen by building a new wet dog food facility, a super-premium baked dog food facility, and a state-of-the-art distribution center, all while enhancing IPN’s core dry dog food capacity.

These investments, combined with an enhanced focus on brand marketing and direct-to-consumer capabilities, enabled growth across all facets of IPN’s portfolio. Most notably, the Harringtons brand has leveraged this platform to disrupt the market and become the U.K.’s fastest-growing major dry dog food brand, moving from #6 to #1 in the category during L Catterton’s ownership.

Mr. Page commented, “We are exceptionally proud of the success that IPN has achieved through our great partnership with L Catterton. By utilizing their extensive strategic, operational, and industry expertise, we have laid a strong foundation to expand our business and quadrupled Harringtons’ market share under L Catterton’s ownership. In addition, we have made great strides on our sustainability journey, with IPN becoming the U.K.’s first carbon-negative pet food manufacturer of scale. We are excited to continue our strong track record of growth through our partnership with CapVest as we work to realize our vision of becoming one of the largest manufacturers of branded pet food across the U.K. and Europe.”

“We are pleased to have played a role in IPN’s remarkable evolution,” said Andrew Taub, Managing Partner in L Catterton’s Flagship Fund. “By investing heavily to support the next chapter of IPN’s story, specifically through investments in brand marketing and capacity expansion projects, IPN has become a truly differentiated pet food platform which is poised for significant future growth.”

Matt Leeds, Partner at L Catterton added, “Our work with IPN is a textbook example of L Catterton’s ability to identify long-term shifts in consumer behavior, and to invest behind these trends on a global basis. It was a privilege to partner with IPN’s talented management team, and we look forward to seeing the Company continue to flourish in the future.”

“We are thrilled to partner with IPN to support them in their next phase of expansion. We believe IPN is optimally positioned in the resilient and growing pet food segment, which will benefit in the long-term from additional pet adoptions this year. As experienced consumer investors with deep buy-and-build capabilities, we very much look forward to working with the IPN team and know we can bring our significant expertise to help augment and accelerate IPN’s multiple growth avenues in the years to come,” remarked Kate Briant, Partner at CapVest.

L Catterton has significant and long-standing experience investing in the global pet food category, having made 13 investments in the space, including Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, JustFoodForDogs, Lily’s Kitchen, Nature’s Variety, and Wellness Pet Food, among many others.

Harris Williams acted as financial advisor to Inspired Pet Nutrition and DLA Piper acted as legal advisor.

Rabobank and Lincoln International acted as financial advisors to CapVest, while KPMG, Kirkland & Ellis, and CIL Management Consultants acted as financial, legal, and commercial advisors respectively. Rothschild & Co. assisted CapVest with debt advisory services.

About Inspired Pet Nutrition

With nearly 100 years of history behind it, Inspired Pet Nutrition is an award-winning pet food manufacturer based in North Yorkshire. IPN’s market-leading Harringtons and Wagg brands, in addition to its value-added own label partnerships with the major UK grocers and pet specialty channels, combine to create the leading independent pet food platform in the U.K. IPN is proud to work closely with farmers, suppliers, customers, nutritionists, and vets to supply high-quality, affordable pet food.

About L Catterton

With over $22 billion of equity capital across its fund strategies and 17 offices globally, L Catterton is the largest and most global consumer-focused private equity firm in the world. L Catterton’s team of nearly 200 investment and operating professionals partners with management teams around the world to implement strategic plans to foster growth, leveraging deep category insight, operational excellence, and a broad partnership network. Since 1989, the firm has made over 250 investments in leading consumer brands. For more information about L Catterton, please visit www.lcatterton.com.

About CapVest

CapVest is a leading international private equity investor that partners with ambitious companies that supply essential goods and services. As an active and patient investor, CapVest has established a strong track record of success in delivering attractive returns by working closely with management teams in supporting transformation in the size and scale of its portfolio companies through a combination of investing behind organic and acquisition-led growth. For more information, visit www.capvest.co.uk