PE-backed United Raw buys two BC pet specialty retailers

United Raw Pet Foods, owned by Dane Creek Capital Corp, has acquired two pet specialty retailers on British Columbia's Vancouver Island.

United Raw Pet Foods, owned by Dane Creek Capital Corp, has acquired two pet specialty retailers on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. United Raw bought Mill Bay-based Lucky Paws Enterprises as well as Victoria-based A Pet’s Life Ventures. The combined prices paid for both represent about 40 percent of the acquired business’ combined expected 2021 revenue. No other financial terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

Dane Creek Capital Corp. Announces the Acquisitions of Leading Vancouver Island Retailers, Lucky Paws Enterprises Inc. and A Pet’s Life Ventures Inc.

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 3, 2021 /CNW/ – United Raw Pet Foods Inc. (‘United Raw’), a majority-owned subsidiary of Dane Creek Capital Corp (‘Dane Creek’ or ‘the Corporation’), announces that it has completed two acquisitions of pet specialty retailers on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

First, United Raw has acquired Lucky Paws Enterprises Inc. (‘Lucky Paws’), a pet specialty retailer with two locations. Lucky Paws was founded by Shannon Wetselaar in 2012 when she opened her first Lucky Paws location in Mill Bay, British Columbia. The second location was opened in South Duncan in 2019 and, in addition to pet food and supplies, offers bathing and select grooming services. Ms. Wetselaar will continue to manage both locations.

Second, United Raw has acquired A Pet’s Life Ventures Inc. (‘A Pet’s Life’) with its sole location at the corner of Fort and Foul Bay in Victoria, British Columbia. The store has been a fixture of Oak Bay for over 30 years, serving pet owners in Victoria and neighbouring communities. In 2019, it was acquired by Chad McMillan, a longtime pet industry veteran. Mr. McMillan will also become part of the United Raw team.

The combined prices paid for both represent approximately 40% of the acquired business’ combined expected 2021 revenues. No other terms were announced.

With the completion of both transactions, United Raw now owns six pet specialty retail locations on Vancouver Island. Earlier this year, it announced the acquisition of Growlies Pet Foods Inc. (‘Growlies’), located in Langford, British Columbia, and The Wild Side Pet Boutique Inc., with its two locations in Nanaimo and Qualicum, British Columbia.

‘I am pleased to be making this announcement,’ said Mark Warren, Chairman & CEO of Dane Creek. ‘Vancouver Island represents a unique opportunity in the pet industry. Supported by outstanding demographics and high levels of pet ownership, the Island offers an opportunity to create a pet-focused ecosystem of products and services unlike virtually any other part of Canada. With six retail locations, we have established a strong base on which to add other pet-related product and services offerings.’

Recent surveys have reported that several communities on Vancouver Island, including Langford, are among the best places to live in Canada. Further, provincial statistics show that three communities on the island, including both Langford and Duncan, are among the top 10 fastest-growing communities in British Columbia.

‘I am delighted to now be a member of the United Raw team and look forward to helping make their vision for Vancouver Island a reality,’ commented Ms. Wetselaar. ‘My team here at Lucky Paws is excited to work with the teams at United Raw and our sister locations to make the retail experience for our pet parents even more enjoyable’.

The retail focus for all United Raw stores is on the promotion and sale of frozen raw pet food, the fastest-growing category of pet food in Canada. With Growlies leading the way, raw food has become the choice of pet parents throughout Vancouver Island. In aggregate, United Raw’s six retail locations feature over 70 freezers and offer more than 35 brands of raw food, bones, broths, yogurts, sides and toppers, all designed to make dogs and cats happier and healthier. National brands, like Bold by Nature, Naturawls, and Tollden Farms, are complemented by local brands, such as Just Raw, Irrawsistible and Pets Go Raw. United Raw plans to increase aggregate freezer space in its retail locations by 20% over the next six months.

‘I am very excited to be joining the team,’ said Mr. McMillan, who, in addition to continuing to run his current location, will also take over management of the Growlies location in Langford this September. ‘United Raw’s commitment to pets in our community and desire to make further investments made my decision to become part of the team easy’.

A Pets Life and Lucky Paws will continue to operate under their current brand names, consistent with United Raw’s previous acquisitions of Growlies and The Wild Side. ‘The strength of consumable pet brands is with the retailer, not with the manufacturer,’ added Mr. Warren. ‘As the leading owner of raw food brands and pet specialty retailers in Canada, we recognize the influence that well-trained retail staff can have on the decisions pet owners make when it comes to their pets’ nutritional needs’.

About Dane Creek Capital Corp.

Dane Creek Capital Corp. is a privately held Canadian merchant banking venture dedicated to the pet industry. With over 30 years of experience in the pet industry and an extensive network of industry professionals, we offer valuable financial and management support to up-and-coming companies in the companion animal sector through selective, strategic investments in Canada, the US and the UK. Our investment horizon is long-term taking into account current trends and changes in pet owner demographics with a current focus on opportunities in sustainable and raw pet food products, pet supplements and nutraceuticals, alternative models for veterinary care, pet insurance and biotechnology. To date, Dane Creek has acquired or invested in 17 pet businesses in North America.

About United Raw Pet Foods Inc.

United Raw Pet Foods Inc. is Canada’s leader in alternative pet foods, with a current focus on the frozen raw sub-category and pet specialty retailers focused on raw food for pets. Owned 64% by Dane Creek Capital Corp. and 34.3% by other shareholders of Dane Creek Capital Corp., United Raw owns the largest family of Canadian raw pet food brands. To date, United Raw has acquired five manufacturers of frozen raw pet foods including Mountain Dog Enterprises Inc. (Edmonton, AB); ‘Pets 4 Life’ (St. Thomas, ON); ‘Naturawls Pet Products’ (St. Thomas, ON); Natural Chow Pet Food Corp., the maker of ‘Spring Meadows’ (Saskatoon, SK); and Tollden Farms Inc. (Kemptville, ON). United Raw also acquired leading raw pet specialty retailers, Growlies Pet Foods Inc. (Victoria, BC), The Wild Side Pet Boutique Inc. (Nanaimo and Qualicum Beach, BC), Lucky Paws Enterprises Inc. (Mill Bay and Duncan, BC) and A Pet’s Life Ventures Inc. (Oak Bay, BC) over the past six months, as well as a minority stake in Pet Plate, a US-based, direct-to-consumer provider of lightly cooked pet food, in 2018.

For more information visit www.danecreekcap.com.

Contacts:

Mark Warren
Chairman & CEO
Dane Creek Capital Corp.
emw@danecreekcap.com
m: 905.875.6218

MacKenzie Keillor
VP, M&A, Strategy & Shareholder Relations
Dane Creek Capital Corp.
mk@danecreekcap.com
m: 902.880.1550